Well folks the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest has arrived and it's time for me to get stuck into my first task.

Assignment 1: Take the greatest, dumbest, weirdest...just whatever kind of writing question you have, and post it on your blog Wednesday. 

 And my Silly Question is... 
When deciding to have a manuscript critiqued by a professional editing service (e.g. Margot Finke) is it important to:
a) review, edit and polish it up until you are 100% happy with it and think that's at the point where you'd be happy to see it in print...
or can you...
b) review, edit and polish it until your about 80%-90% happy with it, but need a bit of outside perspective to help you get it back on track...
c) does the answer lie in how thick skinned you are when it comes to people critiquing you work (and how much money you have too!) 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Happy blogging :)


  1. I'd go with A, but that's because I'm not a fan of really horrible critiques. I like to know I have done my best and then give it to someone.

  1. I'd say (A or B) be 95% happy with it (i.e. don't sweat typos). BUT know what kind of services you're looking for. If you're out for "just a second opinion," you might be better off finding a critique group than paying the +$$$ for services. Either way, though, you'll be happier with the results and learn more if you polish it. The ed will have more to work with and will have time to find the subtle stuff. IMO :)

  1. I say B.

    No sense in perfecting it before a few betas get a hold of it!
    Nice to meet you! :)

  1. Yup, I'm in the same boat as Emily. It doesn't make sense to me to send it before I'm properly happy with it.

    When I send to a professional critique service or editor I like knowing that I will learn something out of the deal. If I haven't perfected my work then I'm probably cheating both myself and the critiquer.

  1. I'm going with A as well. Most of what I've read says that agents and editors want what YOU think is your best. They are there to give another opinion, polish it to what the industry wants, but you have to 'bring it' first.

  1. Hi, Vicky,

    I'd vote for A) when approaching an agent or editor and B) when approaching my critique-group partners. But then again I'm a recovering perfectionist. :)


  1. Thank you very much for following Bird's-eye View, Vicky! I'm looking forward to participating in Deana's blogfest with you.


  1. If it's an editing service, then I would say don't worry about it. It's their job to edit your work. Chances are your manuscript will not be the worst they've ever seen.

  1. I'd think A because even an editing service isn't going to re-write the darn thing for you. That goes beyond editing into co-writer territory.

  1. I vote for A, too! If you are paying, it should be as good as you can get it first.

  1. In my opinion, if you're doling out that kind of money for help, I'd opt for (A)-this way the editing agency will be more of a help to you, fine tuning your best work instead of having to correct silly errors.

  1. I would choose A. I would want to put my best effort into a work before paying someone to critique/edit.

  1. Oh, good question. I think if I were to be idealistic, I'd pick the first. Polish it all the way to the best it could possibly be. If I were to be realistic, I'd be closer to the B option, hoping that when I got the results back, my skin was thick enough to accept I'd done it that way ^_^

  1. I'd go for A or B. It really depends on whether you want to send in your complete best work or if you want to send in something you're proud of but feel could be better and have the critiquer help you fill in major stuff.

  1. I say A as well. You'll get more out of the review if it's well written when an editor gets it. They will ALWAYS find ways to improve it.

  1. Yep, A.

  1. I'd lean towards A. If I was paying for an editing service I would want focus on the issues I couldn't easily find myself...does that make sense? In my case I would still have plenty for an editing service to correct. ;) Lol!

  1. I've had a small portion of a rhyming novel critiqued professionally and I thought it was ready, but looking back it was 85% ready and that's okay too.

  1. Hi, I would not want to hire a service unless I was 100% satisfied, otherwise why bother?

  1. What a great question! I say c. though I personally would go with a. because an editor will find things even when you can't find anything anymore.

  1. I'm going to go with A unless you are just totally stumped on a few areas and that is why you are getting a professional critique. There's my two cents for ya:)

  1. Thank you so much for your kind comment(s) on my blog! MIOBI rocks!!!! :P


  1. Well this would be a guess since I don't have the money for a professional editor. For me, I would always want my manuscript to be in the best possible shape, no matter who was reading/editing/critiquing it.

    But having said that, I also don't think there ever comes a point where you are 100% satisfied. There will always be something you think could be done differently or better. I'd definitely be the most concerned about the editor over the critique partner, though.

    (You should ask Anne Mini at I'd bet she'd answer that question. She's a well known freelance editor and writer and gives fantastic advice for writers. And if you follow her advice, you probably won't need an editor until you get a publishing contract.)

    And thanks for following me. I've returned the favor.

  1. I would go for A) also. I wouldn't want to waste my money on things I could edit myself.

    I love the art work on your blog!

  1. I'm on the A boat as well!

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