But before you head bravely into that good night, lighten your mood with these ten half-truths (lies is such an ugly word) with which I've had more than a nodding acquaintance. Please note, I am not referring to professional editing, but to the labour of love - I had to say that - that every writer must complete at some point in their manuscript's development. I will admit to trying to sell myself on many of these; I will not admit to my success rate. I will also not admit the number of editing purges, er, passes, some of my manuscripts have needed. I have enough pain.
I hope you enjoy these.
10. The front door changing colour half way through your manuscript is obviously symbolic.
9. This same symbolism seems to be at work with the colour of your protagonist's hair. Or she secretly dyed it. More symbolism. You're so literary!
8. The three afternoons on one Wednesday explains why Wednesday seemed so long when you wrote that earlier draft. Problem solved.
7. Your protagonist's best friend who you thought was funny and wise, is somehow now coming across as snide and self-absorbed. You've written multi-layered characters. Well done. See #9.
6. Every character expresses surprise in the same way. You obviously wrote this to demonstrate that we're all the same inside.
5. The sagging of pace in the middle is compensated by the rushing of the ending. You're good.
4. You can't have too many "that"s. Or "just"s. Or...
3. No one will notice the giant plot hole. You didn't notice it when you were writing it.
2. The extreme coincidence which helps your protagonist leap to the necessary conclusion in order for your plot to wrap up could happen. It could.
It could, it could, it could.
1. Your next editing pass will be easier.
Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her latest mystery game, "A Fatal Fairy Tale" was published in February. Her next game "Curiouser and Curiouser" will be published this month. All her murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Her blog, It's A Mystery, explores the writing process with a touch of humor. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites