I've been slowly rereading my book this week, taking notes and marking it up in preparation for plotting book two. It's been almost three months since I've read it, and I've been surprised by how many mistakes I'm finding in my "query-ready" manuscript. A couple of misspellings, a few slipping out of tenses, and a number of extra words to trim to tighten up my sentences. I know time away from our projects helps us come back with fresh eyes, but how long is long enough?
I must have read through my book a bazillion times (slight exaggeration), but I'm still surprised by the number of mistakes I'm catching. Is the fact that I'm reading it on paper this time make a difference? How much time away is enough to reset our brains? Days, weeks, years?
And even though I'll be doing revisions with my agent, then later editor, there's a chance we won't catch everything before it goes out to print and into the world. I mean, how many books do you read and find errors in the text? Lots. And that's just line editing type items. What about improving character development, catching plot holes, better word choice? There are always things that can be changed, but at some point, you've got to say enough is enough...but when is that?
For me it might be when I'm ready to throw that book (or computer) across the room--and if I don't have to look at that thing again for the rest of my life, then good riddance. (Nerdy homeschool fact of the day: did you know Shakespeare coined the term good riddance?) I have a feeling, though, that it will have to be even longer than that. So I guess what I want to know is, how do you know when it's good enough?