Recently I was involved in a discussion about writers knowing when their writing is completed, finished, and submit-able. While many novice writers prematurely submit a first or second draft to an agent or a publisher, other writers edit, and edit, and edit. Wanting their material to be perfect, they eventually delete the life out of their writing. When is enough, enough? These are the points we all agreed on.
6) Just write and get it all down- this is called a first draft.
5) Send it through spell check- It will highlight the gross grammatical errors.
4) Go back and eliminate unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and replace them with strong nouns and verbs.
3) Read it out loud or put it through a program that will read it to you. For fiction, this will show you where your plot has holes or your dialog is poor. With nonfiction, you can adjust your sentence structure to better get your point across.
2) Then walk away. After you have walked away from it for a week or a few days you can make a few final edits and pass it along to your critique group. You do belong to one of them, right? They are vital to a writer.
DRUM ROLL: The numero uno way to know your manuscript, article, blog, poem or flash fiction is ready is when you agent or critique partners wrest it out of your hands and threaten your life if you make one more change.