When is your novel done? In truth? You can literally be writing the same manuscript over and over for years because no novel is ever perfect. Additionally, there is no one way to tell your story, so you might be tempted to make changes and try something different.
You will be there forever at this rate!
There comes a point when you have to let it go and move on to the next stage. Sometimes that’s publication and sometimes the next stage is when you show your book to someone else.
If you feel that you’re not quite there yet, this is totally understandable. Many writers are perfectionists, yet there’s no such thing as a perfect novel or memoir.
So, what’s your best option?
If you’re not a member of a writing group, it’s worth finding a good one – you can do this online. Beta readers are another option.
You can also try out an opening chapters developmental edit. This would allow you to get feedback on a manageable proportion of your book for an affordable price. You can also take some of the advice and apply it to later sections of your novel.
An opening chapters edit would help with:
- Your opening hook
- Your characterisation
- Whether your protagonist has goals that might face obstacles during the book
- Your plot
- Assessing whether you have too much worldbuilding at the outset
- Whether the tone of your prose matches your genre
- Assessing your dialogue
- Checking whether you’ve chosen the best point of view
- Look at your theme(s) and topic
- Whether the structure of the opening chapters works to the book’s advantage
- Your paragraphing
- Your pacing
Feedback on these issues and more can give you an invaluable insight into where your book is now. It also helps you understand whether there’s still a lot of work to do.