In yesterday's comments, PJ Hoover mentioned that's it's hard to know when a manuscript is ready for querying. "Is it ever ready?" she asked. As I responded there, no, it's never going to be 100% ready. You could revise and rewrite something your entire life. Truly, you could. But I think we often know in our gut if we're jumping the gun, if we're skimping on revisions or edits or passes we know we should do.
I honestly believe there's a point you get to, when you've done everything you can with the help and resources you have available, where you can be reasonably confident it's ready. You've revised, you've had the MS read and critiqued, you've revised again, you've line edited, you've set it aside for awhile and tweaked it yet again, and you can read through it and enjoy it without pause, without wanting to stop and adjust. If you're not feeling pretty darn confident it's ready to go, it's probably not ready to go.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my Google Reader and found a new post by Darcy Patterson of Fiction Notes (previously Revision Notes) called "How Many Times Do You Revise?" She shares some of the same sentiments and puts it better than I ever could - check it out! Actually, check out the entire Fiction Notes site. There is post after post of golden advice on revision. I could post a linkfest of favorites.
I feel I have to add a disclaimer here, I've never queried - none of my projects have been ready (I can say that with certainty). So I'd like to elicit the opinion of those who have experience on both sides, do you agree or disagree with my feelings on this? How did you know (or not know) your manuscript was ready for querying?