Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time Is Important

Continuing our "tourist" thing, today Kay and I went to the Museum of Flight, just outside Seattle. It's a fascinating collection of exhibits, and we truly enjoyed it. During our visit, we were able to walk through a Concorde, and I remarked that the seats didn't look that much different than the ones in coach class on most commercial flights. Kay reminded me that these passengers were only in the air for less than three hours. No need to lean back and try to sleep. Through the magic of modern science, time was compressed for them. Taking into account the various time zones, they could arrive before they left! Wow.

Today, agent Rachelle Gardner's blog deals with the importance of an author's letting some time pass when editing a submission. Almost always, this results in an improved product, whether a query, a proposal, or a full manuscript. Without the perspective of elapsed time, there's a too-real possibility that we'll send something before it's ready. Gallo Wine used to have a slogan: We will sell no wine before its time. Writers would do well to observe a slightly edited rule: We will send no line before its time.

I must confess that I've been guilty on several occasions of sending something off in a rush, anxious for an agent or editor to praise it and rush it on its way toward publication. But time and experience have shown me that this isn't the best course. I've learned--the hard way, of course--that Rachelle's right. Give it some time. No need to put our manuscript on the Concorde. Coach class will do just fine.

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