Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - October 2016


It's time to lift the shades on our shacks (or mansions) of writerly insecurities and invite the IWSG over for tea and crumpets. Raise your pinkies to our illustrious host, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his fan-tabulous co-hosts: Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

When do you know your story is ready? That's this month's question. Hmm. Kind of open ended there. Ready for what?

Ready for editing? That's easy. I haven't written anything without knowing how it ends, so once that first draft is done, it's done.

Ready for a beta reader? A tougher call. I'd say however many drafts it takes to get the characters and plot in primo shape, but maybe before the final polish.

Ready for submission? Here's when you have to get out all the typos and awkward sentences. Give the plot and subplots another hard look. Does everything make sense? Are there major plot holes? Find lazy words that escaped earlier edits.

Ready to publish? You want it as perfect as possible, but you can't spend your whole life on one project. (Well, you can, but that would drive most people mad.) Deadlines can help, whether imposed by yourself or other parties. At some point, you let it loose into the world.

Ready for the fabled trunk? If you've reached your limit on sending queries, the requests for fulls are coming up empty, and you refuse to self-publish for whatever reason, then there is this option.

Is your story ready?

Next month's question: Earl Grey or Lemon Zinger?

33 comments:

  1. The only one I always know is ready for editing. But then I have a terrible time knowing when the editing is done! I could easily drive myself mad with each story LOL.

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  2. Spending my whole life on one project would make me mad.

    Earl Grey.

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  3. Great post, Tamara. It's like letting your child fly the nest and set off all alone to college or university. We've done our best and now we have to trust that our best was good enough and our baby can flourish independently of us.

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  4. And sometimes we can come back to those trunk stories years later and make something great.

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  5. It's starting to look like we all suffer from the same disease... *oh, I can tweek this here and here and oh, over here!* At some point each of us has to decide, I'M DONE! But when is that point? When we're sick of the story? :D

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  6. You're first answer was the same as mine. I also know how my stories end before I begin them. Editing is the part that takes me a long time to announce it as DONE.

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  7. Deadlines really help me stay focused and give me a finish line to aim for.

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  8. I am a slow writer and I find if I attempt to rush the process I lose the story. I admire those who can set deadlines and stick to them!

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  9. Every book I've written has been different. The hardest thing is when I think it's ready, send it off, only to have it come back with pages and pages of changes required. Will that every stop? Hi Tamara!

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  10. Sometimes you get too involved in a manuscript and can be in danger of not being able to say enough. At least I can fall into that trap.

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  11. I've known writers who work on the same book for years and years, refusing to move on to the next project. I don't use a trunk to put them away in. I have a special shelf in my office.

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  12. Very good point. Although, I don't think trunking something should ever be permanent. That story, or elements from that story, can be looked at again.

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  13. Tara, What a lovely post! Of course, I've never even gotten to the Beta stage. I just write stuff and post it on my blog. My one piece of fiction that I allowed other eyes to see was met with something like approval, so I may write more! Thanks for sharing, and allowing me to co-host this splendid group this month! Mary

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  14. True. You can't spend your whole life on one book. I haven't yet decided which direction I want to go with mine, but what I do know is that when I am finished with this final draft it is time to release it.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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  15. Yeah, "done" could mean anything. Overwhelming is the word that comes to my mind.

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  16. Tea and crumpets - yum, and earl grey :)
    My mouth is watering after reading this!

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  17. I'm also a HUGE fan to the "study and implement" camp. If something isn't working, there is an industry book out there somewhere that addresses the issues. No writer should be publishing without making an intense study of their art.

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  18. Ready for the trunk? I don't think so. My early works are there. If I'm going to spend time writing, it had better be ready for editing then publishing.

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  19. Ha! I like your list! There are several different options for ready, aren't there?

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  20. It is important for it to be as polished as possible, but many editors/agents are forgiving of an occasional mistake. If your writing voice shines through and the story is strong, the small things can be fixed. Now...with self-publishing, I think it should go through a professional editor or at least a critique group first.

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  21. Those are all tough calls to make, depending on the manuscript. Distancing ourselves from the piece for a bit helps.

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  22. I could probably edit ongoing, but that's where amazing CPs and editors come in :)

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  23. Hi Tamara!

    I have one in the trunk that I would love to fix and get back out there. It's just going to be really time consuming.
    But, we have to make the time, right!

    Heather

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  24. I've certainly got a couple in the trunk! Maybe I'll revisit them some day and edit some more.

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  25. Great post and a great question: ready for what? Making that distinction seems very helpful and should lead to fewer stories in the trunk and more out there, in front of the readers.

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  26. I always know how my stories will end, too. I hope no stories get stuck in the trunk permanently. :)

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  27. It's very important that you know how ready your story is. You should be confident about your work, you know you need help with a research paper you should never be ashamed to ask for help.

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  28. Ooh, definitely Earl Grey. That was easy.

    As for my stories, I'm currently rewriting two books, so...no.

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