Sunday, November 21, 2010

What do YOU see?

What do you see?

What do you see in this piece of art to the left? Faces? Letters? Nothing at all? No doubt we all have a different answer. Just as when we read a novel, some see greatness whilst others are bored.

When my lids descend, a world unlike the one I inhabit plays across the planes of my imagination. And when a vision comes upon me, a thought for a scene, setting, or piece of dialogue, I run with it. And what I see is most certainly not going to be what you see.

“I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.” Brenda Ueland

As of late, those that circulate in my realm have asked the same question; when will you submit your MS? I thought it was done, they bemoan, asking for the hundredth time; what happens to the secondary characters? You do write a story for them, right? Done is relative term. Yes. And, no.

Yes, of course I'll submit. I have.
But the answer is not always so simple. Unlike following instructions, or going to work to repeat the same repetitive tasks day in and day out, writing, whilst possessing unwritten rules, is a gift of imagination, writing skills, and mastery of the language in which you write.

I've received advice from agents and editors, judges and crit partners, and as a result, have taken their suggestions and made the best possible tale I can. I've been done so many times, I've lost count
. And each time, I repeat the same mantra: this really is IT!

Well, this time, this last beta read, it really is. It HAS to be. Lets face it, some of us could continue writing the same story for years, always attempting to make it better. But this time, it will be submitted to those that requested, then 'tis time to move on.

My partners have done their job; made sure there were no plot holes, grammar mistakes, or inconsistencies. Its my turn, implement in between my other life, and get 'er done!

Writers can be a bit neurotic, obsessive, pedantic, but this really is IT! Charli would kick me arse otherwise.

Its not ready because your family and friends think it ought to be, or a new crit partner does not see what others have seen, but when YOU, the author, creator are confident with the product.

How do you know when your story is ready? Do you obsess endlessly, always hoping to make it better, fearing, it just might not be enough as your reason to hold back, hold back from letting the world see, to read?

What do you see?



  1. I think for sanity sake you just have to put your foot down and declare you're done. It's true that we writers fuss and fret over every little detail, always getting struck with new inspirations to take your dear characters. But before we go mad with perfectionism we just gotta let it go...easier said them done. I'm having a tough time dealing with the fact that after this revision it'll be set in's freaking me out...cuz I know I'll think of something cool right after it's done...but I guess I'll have to save it for another story.
    Good luck with the submission hun!

  2. Hi,
    Very nice blog. I've never been here before. I'm one of those people who can't stop fixing things, and I'm also afraid of failing. Two good reasons not to submit, but eventually other characters scream at me to tell their stories and I have to bite the bullet and send it off. Even after say 3 rounds of edits I'll look at my author copy and see things I wish I could go back and change.

  3. Thanks for stopping by fellow Pennwriter! Don't even ask me how many times I have changed my MS. I am taking a much needed break from it now as to not muck it up!

  4. Kris, I've put my foot down many a time. Keeps coming back up. Damnedest thing.

  5. Yeah, Charli's foot has come down on me way too many times to count, and vice versa. Kris, I'm looking forward to this last beta. The story is as good as I can get it. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy. Its good to know even pubbed authors feel the same way!

  6. IT's funny, a few times I thought, "I'm done" but it wasn't that kind of done. It was, I've pushed this story to my limits and it's not good enough for me, and I've had to let it go.
    Hopefully this time around the one I write will be the one that both I and my crit partners say is "the one."

  7. Even though I'm querying and submitting, I still tweak on it. What's up with that?

  8. When I'm through with this revision on my book, I do plan on letting it go. I've read enough blogs on this very topic to know that once you've reached this very point you're talking about, it's time. I wish you the best!

  9. AJ, I will get on those chapters...sorry for taking so long...been ridiculously distracted..

  10. Thanks for the post. I am experiencing exactly this now. And I'm certain, THIS IS IT!!! We could start a support group...

    Great post.

    Best wishes,

  11. Lydia, I'm sure tale was so much better for the editing/beta reading.

    Sheri, I'm not going to look at it when the beta has been read through. DONE.

    So true Julie. It's time@ And Kris, not to worry.


    I've heeded all the advice of partners, agents, etc, 'tis TIME! :-_