There’s nothing better than taking a rejected manuscript, heeding some advice (from a contest or editor or beta reader) and jumping into Deep Edits.
This is where the going gets tough, as any writer knows. The tough dig deeper. Push harder. Slice, chop, amputate and rewrite if necessary — I’m talking DEEP EDITS. Not letting your manuscript get away with being “good enough” or whining that “it won a contest” or “but everyone loves it this way.” Nope. If it’s sitting in a drawer or on a shelf, if editors have rejected it or have kept it “on hold” for one reason or another, then that bun goes back into the oven.
You know, *YOU KNOW* deep down, it needs more work. Improvement. Take a deep breath. Make a goal of 25 pages a day in reading/revisions. Give yourself a deadline. A month. Two months. Whatever works for you.
You can do it. Your manuscript will thank you. Your readers will thank you, because your chances of selling are better. Your editor will thank you, because it will be a cleaner manuscript. YOU will thank you. Oh yeah. You will. Trust me on this.
So while you’re on page 207 of a 300+ manuscript, cursing and panting, screaming out “who’s idea was this?” for a total rewrite, what do you do? Clean up the “blood” from discarded words or whole paragraphs. Re-sharpen the knife. And remember.