Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG ~ How Do You Know When You're Done?



Progress Update: I finished the last of the revisions on my WiP. If you are interested in CPing this (looking primarily for plot stuff that doesn't work as well as it could/should), let me know. You can email me at rarichards68 at gmail dot com.

The next books is beginning to take up a lot of Brain Space. That tells me two things. One: I think I am mostly done with the first one. Two: I need to sit down and put fingers to keyboard and start hammering out an outline. Or even just do some story idea writing to flesh it out in my mind.

I find that the experience of writing this novel, reading books about writing novels, reading books with an eye always geared to how someone writes (what I like, what I don't, sentence structure, plot structure) has changed my writing in countless ways for the better. I wish I still had that VERY FIRST ROUGH version in a file... man, it stunk. BUT, it also shows how far I've come. (Hint: Miles and miles and miles.)

Big thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this group. More thanks to all of the bloggers who support this endeavor by helping carry the load of getting around to so many blogs. If you want to join this excellent group, we post once a month on the first Wednesday of the month.

Interested in CPing? How do you know when you are "done" with your novel? What has writing taught you?


24 comments:

  1. Every time I thought I was "done," my editor had other ideas. But congratulations on getting to the point where you feel it is done. That is a huge accomplishment.

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  2. You are almost done the first book-excellent and you have ideas about your next one and that is great. The IWSG is so supportive of writers and it is wonderful. I have written little things but don't consider myself a writer but it does teach me that it gives me solace, makes me feel good. There are others who feel concerned about their writing and we can always learn. Creativity is always awe inspiring to me

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  3. How in the world do you manage to finish writing books and maintain a blog at the same time??? I can't seem to do both while working. But then again, my laptop hard drive died AGAIN and I have since discovered that DropBox did NOT back up my writing so more is lost. Every conceivable obstacle to my finishing writing my book has hit me several times. I'm about ready to drop the computer and buy a typewriter. I may email you. I beta read for people sometimes and I do learn a lot from doing it.

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  4. I thought I was just about finished with my book but then my CP came back with some deep changes I need to make. I didn't even realize how much my book lacked until he pointed it out, then when I looked back at it with fresh eyes - duh, Elsie! It was so obvious. Just not to me. Best of luck!!

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  5. It's not done until it's absolutely perfect. For me, that means going over it at least 4-5 times and having others go over it as well. As I can see above, Elsie is learning this pain (I'm her CP). :)

    Random reviewers can be harsh, so I always make sure not just that everything flows well, but that there aren't any plot holes, or things that don't make sense, or ways that people could misunderstand my characters and end up hating them rather than loving them. Good luck to you!

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  6. Gosh - I am so embarrassed to say I've never published anything. I don't even know what "CPing" means. I've written seven children's books and made copies to send to the 14 nieces and nephews. I also illustrate them. I only know that when a child's book is "done" it says, "The End."
    I don't see myself as a writer - just someone having fun with words. I carry a tiny tape recorder to keep up with thoughts on a book I'm doing for the kids. Christmas is the time that they "want" Aunt Dixie's story. When I sit down to type I play the tape; that's when things fall into place for me.
    Sometimes I get an idea and text it, from my cell phone, to my email. Nothing like being out shopping and the brain kicks in a conversation between two characters!
    Good luck Robin!!!

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  7. Sounds like you're done. I know I'm done when I start putting things back the way they were in the first draft.
    And I do have that very first draft from over thirty years ago. It's not a pretty sight...

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  8. Sometimes I feel like I'll never be done, but I guess that's just proof that I'm not. I think you'll know when it's ready. I'd say definitely start writing that new book if you feel you need a break from editing.

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  9. I wish I could say I'm available, Robin, but my internet service is very iffy. I'm away from home for 6 months and trying to adapt. If things suddenly improve, I'll give you a shout.

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  10. I guess it's when 'the fat lady' starts singing that next novel in your head (figuratively, on all counts, of course).

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  11. I enjoyed beta reading the first draft for you, and I'm sorry I am unable to extend my services this time around, but I sure hope you get other offers.

    I always love it when I feel I am ready to begin the next book. :)

    Good luck with everything!

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  12. It's never done. Never. I have one manuscript I might be revising until I die.
    Even after you've taken a book to publication, revised for editors and copy-editors and proof-readers and you have a finished book in your hands ... you open it up to a random page and see something you would change if you still could. :P

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  13. I love it when a novel starts taking over my thoughts just as I finish one.

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  14. Love the feeling that a story is done. Cool that your already have another novel idea to work on.

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  15. I don't think they are ever done. I read an article where Stephen King wanted to rewrite his early works with what he's learned as he has grown. But it's good that we continue to grow!
    You have a lovely story- highly enjoyable!!

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  16. I am never done. If I declare myself done, then I am unhappy with my product. It is a vicious cycle - and I LOVE it.

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  17. Congratulations on finishing the hard part, Robin! That's awesome.
    Writing has taught me more than I can put into words.
    I can imagine I'll keep finding needed changes and typos in my book with every read. So I don't know the answer. I think when you can feel really good about the finished product, that's a good sign.

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  18. I have a real problem with "done". I can't get past the feeling that I could still make it better. Sounds like you've made it. That's great.

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  19. You're never really done. This is why I've stopped reading books I wrote before. I just write until I feel that it's "enough" for readers, then hope for the best.

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  20. Oh, gosh Robin, you are never done! Ever. However, you can get close. Now though, I'd let it sit for a while, and then go back at it with fresh eyes. You may see things you have missed as you have been "living" with it.

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  21. Good luck w/your next book. The life of a writer sounds so romantically glamorous. I'm sure there are moments that it's not, but how much nicer than clocking a 9-to-5!

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  22. I do save older versions of my books in a folder, although I find I never go back to them. A long time ago I changed my mind about a revision and wanted to go back but couldn't, so now I save the old ones just in case that ever happens again!

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  23. Congratulations! I know I'm done either when all I'm doing is nitpicking at words and phrases here and there OR when I run out of time. Whichever comes first :)

    Just read Stephanie Faris's comment above. I save my old ones too. Versions One through whatever. Then I keep them each novel on a separate flashdrive.

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  24. I'm very impressed that you've come this far, Robin! It's a huge accomplishment, and I think you're being too hard on yourself. You've gotten lots of great feedback, and I like Liza's idea about taking a break, and revisiting your story again with "fresh eyes." Though it must be frustrating, I know your hard work will be worth the effort in the end.

    Julie

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