Hello everyone! I’m making a small alteration to the regular schedule of our blog to share something from Anne R. Allen’s excellent blog with you, which you should all read, especially if you are in the early stages of your career: http://annerallen.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-number-one-mistake-new-writers-make.html?spref=tw
This is truly sound advice! Don’t let it paralyze you into revising for the rest of your lives, but know that it’s natural to feel compelled to publish our first novel right away. And that is, in the vast majority of cases, a really bad idea. She talks about putting in 10,000 hours… the advice I have consistently heard, and lived by, myself, is that you should write one million words before publishing (which, if you are disciplined, sounds about right for 10k hours). I felt that way about my first novel, too… and I was extremely fortunate to have a good friend who took the time to tell me how terrible it really was. Now, quite some years later and with quite a few novels under my belt, I am delirious with joy that I listened to him and took the time to hone my craft before seriously submitting again.
Patience is essential in the business of writing novels; and besides, as I have said in my mini-writing tip yesterday, the main thing that writers do is write. Put your first finished product in a drawer, and move on to your next project. And the one after that. When you have gained enough experience, dig it up again. You may be able to fix it. You may not. But even if that is the case, by that time, you will have two new (and better) novels to work with. Revise them. Then join a critique group, and get yourself some serious beta readers (who are, preferably, people who know what they are talking about and not related to you). Take your time before you submit. You’ll be happy you waited.