…To make a polished enough manuscript to begin sending it to editors and agents?
Also, enjoy this giraffe I made awhile back:
It’s related I promise! (kinda)
I just finished the second draft of Stitching Butterflies (well, the second book dummy, this is probably draft fifteen as far as manuscript goes…) and I’m now moving on to Lou’s and Sue’s, a drastic change from a manuscript I wrote two years ago when I was just starting to realize I wanted to write children’s books. That giraffe up there was in this story known as Lou’s Place.
Lou is actually an elephant that is too big to fit anywhere. The giraffe in an air balloon has nothing to do with the story, I just wanted it in there because it was cute.
Adding random cute things to a story that is unrelated doesn’t make a good picture book! I had made a cool book dummy with cute things and a sad, grumpy elephant looking for a place to fit in society and everything about it was WRONG.
I sent that book dummy to Peach Tree Publishers. I got it back of course with a little rejection letter that they probably send to all failures and vaguely wondered if it was even glanced at because of the HORROR of a thing it was.
Oh, the horror continues.
Before the Lou’s Place disaster, there was the Everything Girl disaster. I sent TWO you guys, TWO stories, TWO book dummies, with hardly any editing, no agent, and probably typos. I’m surprised I even got responses back! Boyds Mills Press was even nice enough to email me because I didn’t send the package correctly so they could send the dummy back. AGH.
Point is, how polished does a manuscript have to be? I read this article today that I wished I had read two years ago when I sent both Lou’s Place and Everything Girl. Now I’m looking at Stitching Butterflies and thinking, is it ready?
No, it’s not. It needs to go on the back burner for a little while, but I’d like to believe it’s close, closer than the other two were.