A wise writer once said that editing your manuscript is like putting and octopus to bed, no sooner do you get one tentacle all tucked up than another escapes. You’re checking your structure, your character development, plot, sub-text, dramatic action, theme, language, proof-reading and layout. However, you can also spend so long at the various tentacles that what you’re actually doing is delaying the send out. That’s fear. Don’t be a slave to fear. The following check list might help you decide if your cephalopod is properly tucked in and done:
1) Have you read through your piece a number of times, each revision focusing on different aspects (character, theme, structure, tone, language, punctuation, grammar etc…)?
2) Have you shown your piece to at least one person and received informed and HONEST feedback, and have you then addressed any issues that have been highlighted?
3) Are you now re-reading your work, doing nothing but shifting around commas (and back again)?
If the answer to the above is ‘Yes’, then you’re done and the only reason you’re hesitating sending it off to the agent/publisher/magazine/competition, is that you’re scared of rejection.
Get over that. If you’re going to be a published writer, you’re going to have to suck up a lot of rejection. Be brave. Take the leap. And good luck!