The first in a series of five blog posts by Julia Johnston (author of If Everyone Knew Every Plant And Tree), charting her journey from preparing to submit her manuscript to agents, through to the self-publishing of her debut novel.
“Time’s up. Put your pens down.”
Handing in an unfinished test paper. To be scrutinised by an examiner. The frustration, the humiliation, the distress. It wasn’t ready to be read.
That’s all behind us, is it not? There’s no one wrenching our manuscripts from our hands or pointing manically at their watch. We have the luxury of time. But it’s not as simple as that. We need to be finished before submitting our work to a literary agent or a publisher or a literary consultant or even a friend.
How do we know if our novel is ‘finished’ though? How do we know it’s ready to be read?
If you’re like me, you’ll have gone through/be going through your work with a fine-tooth comb, and a spade, and a shovel. …