An interesting thought visited me as I sat around procrastinating today. Are stories that get picked up quickly by agents/publishers cheated out of becoming as great as they can be? My first ever manuscript, Project Second Shadow, has had its home in the crucible of my imagination, as well as on paper for years. Every time it moves from the former to the latter, it comes out somehow better. There are always different takes on scenes, or entirely new ones that come to life when I revisit the story. Powerful elements that wouldn't be there, had the book been picked up by someone. This book is leagues better now than the first version was. I know most people's instincts are the same as mine- "well, it wasn't ready after the first version." I get that. But in the countless re-imaginings since then, I've found the story and writing to be comparable to bookshelf quality. Still, it isn't published, so I continue to improve it. I'm beginning to think that immediate publication might actually stunt the growth of a manuscript, which is a rather encouraging thought for someone like me. Has anyone else had a similar experience with this? Or do you disagree completely?