I recently completed the fourth draft of what started out as a thriller/horror turned drama/crime story. The manuscript has undergone a transformation from being a very, very, rough first draft to a flowing fourth draft but I can’t say I’m much happier with it.
At what point do we stop worrying about what the reader will think and feel towards something we have poured our hearts and souls into doing? Two drafts? Twenty? There are many writers who think this process should be done in very few drafts to be effective as a writer but if that is true, how do you know when it’s time to ship or shelve a manuscript?
I find it difficult, with very few eyes on my novella to say that it is or isn’t publishing worthy. It is without a doubt the single, most frustrating problem an author can have comparing their most recent work to their last (especially when it’s an all-together different genre). At the end of the day I have several choices, send it out for reviews from beta readers and risk being fed to the sharks or keep it to myself and let it get buried under a stack of other prose that suffered similar fates.
How did you know you were finally finished writing the final draft of your manuscript? What made you take the dive to share your work with others? How did it make you feel? What was the outcome? Inquiring minds want to know. I’d love to hear your stories and experiences.