"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: When is Your Story Ready?

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

The October 5th question - When do you know your story is ready?

My Answer - This question is almost impossible to answer because the truth is - I'm never really done! Even after a piece has been published, I'll find things I wish I could change. However, knowing this about myself, "How do I know I'm ready for someone else to read it?" might be a better question. My answer for this is:

1) Finish a first draft.
2) Take break - hopefully at least a week.
3) Self - edit. I usually give it at least four passes before I share with anyone else.
4) Share with Beta-readers or critique partners - these are free reviews and edits with a select group I'm comfortable working with.
5) Make my final edits based on the feedback before sending to an agent, editor, or publisher.

For more of my thoughts on this subject:

Working with Agents, Editors, and Publishers:
8 Ways to Annoy Literary Agents
7 Steps to Preparing Your One Sheet
Pad Your Resume and Wallets by Writing for Small Markets
6 Tests Before Publication
When and Where to Publish Short Stories
Then There Were Five
7 Tips for Pitching to an Agent or Editor
5 of the Worst Author Traits
Resume' for the Writer
Defining High Concept
Interview With an Agent
Speed Dating Pitch Session

How about you? How do you know when your story is ready?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just have to go on faith. Because even the books that have been published have things I wish I could change now.

Bob/Sally said...

"Even after a piece has been published, I'll find things I wish I could change." Truer words have never been spoken. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Your process is a lot like mine. :)

Tony Laplume said...

I happen to think a writer's work involves, if the writer is being honest, a continuing commentary on the writer's own work; each new story is in some way a commentary on the last one, or some other work the writer has continued to think about.

shelly said...


Unknown said...

I agree: this is one of the hardest questions to answer! I feel like nothing is ever "done." But I find that when I gain distance, then it's starting to be ready. When I'm ready for nasty, mean feedback and feel like, "Well, that's your opinion, but I'm still proud of the way it turned out," then I think I'm ready for it to be out on its own in the world. :-)

That said, I don't like mean feedback, but it is inevitable as a writer. And I think that's why it's so hard to say something is "ready."

Anonymous said...

Agreed - even after I'm "finished" I want to make edits. It's so much easier to identify when it "isn't finished."

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