I wrote Fractured Light in 2009. I went through the normal writing process of editing several times and having others look it. I even set it aside for a few months then pulled it back out to edit again. When that was finished, I began the query process. At one point I had an agent ask me to rework the first one hundred pages, which I did.
Where am I going with all this? Not sure, but hang in there.
Last week my editor gave me a proof of Fractured Light to look for any final mistakes. This is the first time I've looked at it in eight months. Gulp. Cringe. Barf. I had mistakes. Not necessarily typos, but things I didn't even know were wrong at the time I wrote it. The mistakes are subtle; the normal reader probably won't notice. But I did.
I fixed what I could in the short amount of time I was given. Hopefully I've made it better, but if I could really get my hands on it I'd do more.
I've learned a lot about writing this year. Things I already knew but didn't fully grasp how to apply them. Things like filtering, participial phrases, and dialogue tags. I think when it comes to writing you're always learning and you can always get better. But at what point do you say, "I'm done! I can't take it anymore."?
I believe I hit this point with Fractured Light. I was so ready to move on. And I think this is important too. Your characters can suck you into their world if you let them, and you'll get stuck there for years. I didn't want to do that; other characters had begun to whisper, and I wanted to listen.
What do you think? Where's the balance between editing and just going for it?