Well, I'm here to
#1: Revise revise revise!
When I finished my first draft of Daze, I had this split second thought of, okay I'm done, it's perfect. And then I sort of laughed to myself and thought, c'mon Mel, it needs to be revised once.
*cue maniacal laughter*
I've revised Daze so many times since then I've lost count. I'm sure there's a point when you can revise too much, but I haven't reached that point. Every time I go back to it I find things that can be fixed or altered- sometimes just words or sentences. I usually find things to cut. I'm going through it right now and trying to insert more voice. No matter what, you can always make your work better.
#2: Put your MS aside
This goes along with #1. I haven't looked at Daze for almost a year. I've had a few requests that I'm still waiting on and I haven't wanted to mess with it while it's out in agent-land. Coming back to it has been like greeting an old friend. It's very familiar, and yet fresh at the same time. I'm reading it again with a whole new perspective. I'm seeing things I didn't before. Set it aside for awhile- longer than a month- and then go back and see what new things you find.
#3: Practice makes... well, if not perfect, then better
You've revised, you've put your MS aside, now start something new. I know, I know, we hear that ALL the time. But it's true- practice makes perfect. Okay, our writing will never be perfect. But it will get a WHOLE lot better. Trust me. And then, after you've written a new MS and you go back to revise the old, you'll see the mistakes you used to make that hopefully you don't make anymore.
You've heard this all a million times. I know I have. But this past weekend of revising Daze yet again has just reminded me how important these pieces of writing advice are, how TRUE they are.