Wednesday, October 5, 2016

#IWSG When Do You Know Your Story is Ready?

 

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
 
Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh's awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley! 
 

 
 
 
This week, I am in the middle of editing a short story for an upcoming mystery anthology. My critique group has offered their opinions of soft spots, drawn out narrative, and spotty dialogue. After applying all agreeable edits, I will read through the story several times so any rough areas or inconsistencies have a chance to surface.
 
Seeing the question for October's IWSG brought a smile to my face. How timely to consider when exactly I will know that my story is ready.
 
October 5 IWSG Question: When Do You Know Your Story is Ready? 
 
Determining that my story is ready isn't something I take lightly. I don't suddenly one day say, "Enough already. I don't want to look at this story one more day or I'll become physically ill."
 
Well, okay, I do say that, but that isn't when I mark the story finished.
 
Now it's time to set the work-in-progress aside for a day or two. Going back for a last look always produces at least one new proofreading error or, worse, a glitch in the plot or timeline that requires a touch up.
 
After that final read-through, barring some catastrophic find, I am ready to mark the story complete. That's when I know my story is ready . . .  ready for me to let go.
 
Is this a sign of insecurity on my part,
or just a realization that if the story is complete,
it means I have to start writing something new?
 
 
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16 comments:

  1. If only - if only you could stop at the point when you're sick of looking at it! But things are never that simple are they ;)

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    1. Right, Angela, never quite that easy. It is usually that last bit of polishing that makes the whole project shine.

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  2. I think every novel I write when I get to the editing, I think that same thing. I can't look at it one more time!

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  3. It is heartening to know that this is more the norm for writers; not that the writing is so bad but that, ultimately, "familiarity breeds contempt."

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  4. Nice! I'm still working on this - but I'm getting better! :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Jemi. I've found that practice is the best way. The more stories you write, the easier it is to know when the story is "ready". Then along comes that challenging project, where no matter how you read it, you can't tell! Back to the drawing board.

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  5. This is my first time here. I like your blog and I've joined it. It is extremely difficult for a writer to know when her story is ready to send out. Setting it aside is a great idea as well as having others read it in critique. Thanks for sharing. All the best!

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    1. So nice to meet you Victoria. Thank you for visiting today and joining my blog journey. I agree that setting a story aside for awhile is the best way to garner distance from your opinions about what works and what needs to change.

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  6. I like your way of thinking, Gail. Yes, when a story is complete, it is time to write something new. What a fascinating life we, writers, lead. We are never out of a job. It would be nice if it paid better... :)

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  7. So true, Olga, we will never be out of a job as writers. The "pay" of course is satisfaction with tell a good story. Thanks for visiting.

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  8. I'm enjoying reading everyone's answers to this month's questions. Reading through the story until it's polished is a great way to tell when it's done.

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  9. I agree with you, Gail... we have to put it aside before we "burn it." LOL. That's when we know to keep going. And definitely when it's time to let it go...

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  10. Putting it aside for a few days or even a few weeks always helps. When we're constantly looking at it the words become too familiar. We miss the glaring errors or soft parts.

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  11. Putting it aside for a few days or even a few weeks always helps. When we're constantly looking at it the words become too familiar. We miss the glaring errors or soft parts.

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Aloha and thank you for visiting today!