This is a fascinating premise, because we writers are not always the most confident bunch. Cold rejection for our query and manuscript waits behind every rock in the big, scary world, ready to spring forth and say, "Boo." Actually, it's more likely to be a jack-in-the-box with copy paper stapled to its head, the word, "Boo" printed in Times New Roman. Naturally, we will try to interpret the meaning of "Boo" and make ourselves neurotic.
Since I'm in the first round of revisions of Mythos, I began to wonder at what point I might be confident enough to say that this urban fantasy of mine is 100%. So, let's see. What are my revision plans?
Revision Round #1 - Decrap-ification (in progress)
- Kill some recycled trees and print the first draft.
- Read it and take copious notes all over the page. Can't put the check here yet. I'm halfway done.
- Make all the changes from step #2.
Revision Round #2 - Incorporating feedback
- Gather all the critiques from the critique group (in this case, my YA writing pals on writing.com).
- For any editing/grammar nits, revise appropriately.
- For the "big issues", like characterization, plot, setting, voice, etc., decide if I agree with these points.
- If I agree, revise appropriately.
- If I don't agree, but several others do, consider that I may be wrong and revise appropriately.
- If I don't agree, but only one or two others do, the author wins. (Stephen King rule)
- Judicious use of MS Word spell and grammar check. Correct as needed.
- Read the book out loud, or use tools like ReadPlease to read the book to me.
- Immediately fix the obvious grammatical issues.
- Immediately fix the horrendous dialog that the ear makes far more obvious than the eyeball.
- This is where I take the book chapter by chapter through manuscript editing software. I've used AutoCrit and been quite happy with the results.
- This isn't so much about grammar or spelling, but more about finding repetition, clichés, poor sentence pacing, readability, etc.
- This is tedious and painful. The Terminator is not kind.
- Revise appropriately.
- Gather any additional feedback and revise as needed (see round #2)
- One more MS Word spelling & grammar check.
- Final read through and tweaks.
However, it's at the end of round #5 that I expect to cross that emotional hurdle, where I can say, "Yeah, this is good." I won't go back and read the manuscript again, except to help building the synopsis and query. *shudders* Okay, let me just get through the revisions before worrying about the query and synopsis.