Have you ever tried to cook frozen chicken?

If you’re not careful, you’ll think it looks done, but whoa to those who bite into it. You’ll learn pretty quick that it’s just not ready yet. It requires lower heat, longer cooking, simmering  and careful turning at various intervals to be able to reach it’s peak of perfection.  Because it WAS FROZEN when you began it.


It’s like when you finish your novel and you can’t wait to get it out there. You are pushing it long before it’s ready to be out there.

A novel, as a lot of writing, is meant to be put together with love and zest for what you’re writing about. It should be treasured. So you’ve fniished it, and you’re tired of it now. Best advice. Put it aside. Start another one. Leave it for a while.

Oh, but it’s your baby, right? You can’t just leave it in limbo!

Someone once told me to leave it for six months. Oh, no, I said, I can’t do it. I have to send it out.

Here are a few ideas about what to do with it while you’re waiting for it to gestate.

1.Print it out and at your leisure, pretend you just picked it up at the library and read  to see if it captures your attention.

2. Hand a few copies to friends and see what they think.

3. Get a good friend to read it who does not believe all your work is perfect. Like a husband, if you’ve got one of those. Or a wife.

If they loved it and/or you’re still married after that, consider they absoltuely are brilliant.   If they hated it, don’t give them anything else to read. Why hear such madness from someone who is supposed to love you. What were you thinking?

4. Go ahead and send out queries, but if you sent them out and are praying no one will ask for your work,  then it’s not ready. But you knew that already.

5. If you’ve truly finished your book and you still aren’t sending it out. Do that one more edit. Then get brave and pitch it our into the snow if you have to .

But get it out the door. Make it leave home. Bargain for it. Put it on Amazon. Get it gone.

Then start your next one. Guaranteed, it will be even better than the one sitting on the snowbank.

In novel talk, that means, are you rushing your novel before it’s ready for delivery.

Granted some of us spend more time on a novel than others. I’ve still not figured out how that works. But I have a few ideas.


  1. Byron November 4, 2013 / 9:26 pm

    I took a course on writing at the Air Force Academy once. They had a very novel approach as to what to do once you have written a document. Let it set awhile and then read it backwards from the end to the beginning. As you come across points made later in the book, you will look to see if earlier, you have well written material that support your later points.

  2. bellwriter October 4, 2014 / 6:49 pm

    great great advice, Darla! I didn’t know you had a blog, will check back often. I actually keyed in your name to buy your book! Congratulations!

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