Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dropping Your Pants

It's time for me to get rid of a pair of pants. They're great pants--well, they were. A nice medium-light blue (softer than robin's egg, brighter than powder), very comfy, perfect for yoga. Except thanks to a few eaten-through bleach spots, a fraying drawstring and what looks to be a red Crystal Light stain, they haven't been out in public in a year or so.

The real bummer is there is a very cute zip-up hoodie with three quarter length sleeves in almost perfect condition in my closet that matches them.

But I'm a realist. That jacket is in such great shape because I stopped wearing it when the pants were no longer fit for public consumption. The chances of that jacket getting worn now are even slimmer. It's very cute with the pants, but on its own...well, there are so many other jackets to choose from in my closet.

This all reminds me of the first book I ever wrote. Sure, I will always think of it fondly (it finaled in the Golden Heart for pete's sake), but there comes a time when you have to put something away and move on. I know it won't get published and I'm okay with that (and have been for a while). Just like I know the sequels in that series probably won't ever see the light of day either.

As writers, we have to know when to shelve a manuscript (and its sequels) and move on. How many times do you edit something before you know it's just time to stop? How many submissions do you put it through? What's your process for declaring a manuscript DOA?


  1. Anonymous7:48 AM

    For me it's more of a feeling. I just know when it's time to let the manuscript go.

  2. I am not sure... it's easier with an agent. She kind of lets you know. Speaking of which... what are you and your agent up to? What are you shopping?

  3. That is hard. Very hard and I had much much less time invested with it. I was working too much on it and I needed to know if I was swimming upstream so I sent it to Kensington and it got a wonderful rejection. It's now tucked away. I washed my hands of it and every now and then I get the urge to work on it, but it's a waste of time. Onward and upward.

  4. I don't rewrite books too much. I'm under the belief that your first few books will suck. Period. Keep writing and you'll get better. Then when you finally sell your 4th book that you've written, go back and look at those books and see if you want to make the effort to fix them.

    That's my longwinded rambling opinion.

  5. I have a pair of pants...I HAD a pair of pants like that, lol. I wore them until they literally fell apart. I'm serious. When they began to tatter, I only wore them around the house. The crotch had holes in them (hubby liked that, roflmao...sorry, couldn't resist!) and the seat was paper thin. I just hated to give them up. They were so comfy!

  6. I will NEVER give up!
    I may know something isn't working, but I'm a die hard at giving up on it all together. It will sit on the shelf, but I can still see the potential. I will trot it out and work on it now and again.
    I am of the opinion I can fix it until it works. :)
    Never say die.

  7. Anonymous2:02 PM

    I've had trouble with this one. The funny thing about the first ms I wrote is I washed my hands of it and then an agent wanted to read it. I panicked and tried to actually rewrite it in case she asked for a full. LOL. Of course, the agent rejected it. Which is just fine. It really is a patchwork as I struggled to find my voice.
    I just deleted another one a couple of days ago that I could see wasn't going to make it to the end.
    I just keep at it until that "feeling" comes along to let it go.