The novel is complete. You’ve walked away and started something else or started marathoning Doctor Who to give your mind a break. Is it ready for querying?
NO. I repeat: NO.
After it’s been through your Beta readers and CP team is it ready for querying?
Probably not, but maybe.
If you are like me, when you write, you slice open a vein and let the words flow. This tends to produce some passive phrases, adverb vomit, and some telling then showing paragraphs. You might catch some of it, when you edit, and your CP team might catch the rest. Heck, your grammar checker on Word or whatever program you use, might catch some. But is that enough?
NO. I repeat: NO.
Unless you are that good at editing. Most people aren’t. Not at first anyway.
There are two places you can go to that are free and will help you spot the number of adverbs, weak words, passive voice, etc. found in your writing. If you blog, consider using this. If you write, it’s a staple. I recommend using these sites before you pay for an editor. If you can eliminate this yourself, it means less money you spend on them.
The two sites I’m referring to are AutoCrit and EditMinion. Before I participated in PitchMAS and PITMAD, I’d never heard of either of these sites. Now, I use EditMinion because autocrit will only allow short passages before you are required to pay and receive limited feedback. It seems like a good investment for a CP team to split, but I’m not paying $77 alone. With EditMinion, you can copy your entire novel or chapter by chapter and find out where your flaws are.
These sites are one of the many tools an author can use to figure out ways they can tighten their manuscript until they don’t have to rely on them anymore. As you edit and CP for others, finding the issues mentioned above become easier and you can transfer that to your own manuscript. It took me a while to reach a point where I didn’t feel like I needed to use either of these sites, but I’m glad I used them while I was still learning. Do yourself a favor – put your MS under the scrutiny of EditMinion (or Autocrit) before you query.