Sunday, August 16, 2009

How do you know?

How do you know if your done?

I think I'm done. I worked hard all summer. I've read and re-read then edited and re-edited. I've tried to make sure I have good character development, good pacing, and well defined scenes that makes the reader want to keep reading.

Now I've handed it over to a friend and I'm not going to think about it for a month, but the question still lingers. Is it enough?


lauraabest said...

First of all congratulations on getting this far, Patti!! Quite an accomplishment and a whole lot of work. It is not uncommon for self-doubt to creep in. Allow it to make a brief appearance but don't let it make itself at home.

Lazy Writer said...

I'm not sure one ever knows if they are finished. I guess there's always room for improvement, but you can't edit forever, can you? I say you are doing the right thing to leave it alone for a month while someone else reads it. Then, you read it again and see if you still think it's ready.

Holly Kennedy said...

You have to wait a whole month to hear back from your friend?!!! Huh. One would think a friend would do his/her best to get it back to you sooner than that, don't you think?

P.S. I know you'll hate to hear this, but you're never truly done with any book you write, even after it's published.

You do, however, learn (either through intution or *lol* a deadline that's been pressed upon you by your publisher) when you've done enough and when it's time to let go and move on.

After you get an agent, you will make more changes, Patti. Then when he/she sells it you will make at least 2 more rounds of revision to it.

And with each pass you'll shake your head, and say, "Incredible... It's so much better now than it was back then."

On a final note, it's the minute fine tuning you do at the very end that makes you recognize how ready it is to be turned over to book stores. It's then that you choke up a bit when you finally do let it go :)

Heidi Willis said...

I agree with all of the above!

You can rewrite forever. If you think you are really, truly done, leave it for a few months. Then you'll realize there's more to do!

It can be endless. At some point I think you just have to say: I'm ready to let it go for now.

Then wait to see what the editors throw at you. :)

Congrats on getting this far!

JKB said...

I agree with Holly, Patti - you never do know. But I do think that after some different beta readers, you'll be as close as you can to "done" enough to find an agent. And then that agent has you edit, (sometimes a long time, sometimes not) and then the publisher she sells you to has you edit (again, see above)

I'm really excited for you though! This is a BIG STEP!!!

Brit said...

Congrats Patti! And I agree with the others, you are never really done.

I have recognized you on my blog today! Kreativ Blogger Award.

Patti said...

Laura: I'm trying to let it only be for a moment

Susan: I agree. I'm looking forward to a month without thinking about it.

Holly: I guess that's what I'm hoping for, is that I've done enough to move to the next step.

JKB: I'll enjoy the break and hopefully will be able to do more edits in the future.

Brit: Thanks for the award.

jenniferneri said...

This is a question I ask myself all the time. I realize a piece can be worked eternally. I have decide when it is time to let it go. I am sure will know. (it├Ęs like labour. you will know.)
The feedback you receive should guide you.

Congratulations! It is exciting!