Putting work aside to resubmit later

“Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age.  Nothing does — except wrinkles.  It’s true, some wines improve with age.  But only if the grapes were good in the first place.” ― Abigail Van Buren

Are you one of those writers who put manuscripts away until later when the market improves?  Waiting for the day when editors are again buying picture books, talking tea pots or problem novels?

We all do this to some extent, putting a manuscript aside when it has earned a certain number of rejections, determined to again try our luck at a later date. And that’s fine.  If the problem in trying to sell it was simply timing.

But before you send your darling back out into the market, give it a good hard read.  Not long ago, I was going through some old files and pulled out several old manuscripts, hand-written on notebook paper.  Were they worth finishing?


They were awful.  Simply.  Awful.  Bad, bad grapes.  From plot to character to story, I had made every mistake known to accomplished writers.

This isn’t to say that everything that won’t sell is absolute trash.  Maybe you need to deepen your characterization.  Fix that plot hole.  Tie up a subplot.  Or take your setting from general to specific.  After all, it is almost certain that your writing has changed and grown since you set this piece aside.  Take a look at it and see what is what.

You may find that it was as good as fabulous last time and it really was a timing issue.  But you may also find that growth in your craft means that problems you never noticed are not only obvious but fixable.

Why not take a look before you send it out and possibly give yourself a better chance at making the sale?


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