In Writing, When Do You Get to that “It’s Ready!” Pinnacle Point?

Gift wrapped book

With so many revisions to my novel over the past three years, I began to wonder when I’ll know when my story will be at that perfect point to call it completely finished. When will it be in the best polished condition to send to my editor and then work on publishing it?

Because I don’t know about you, but at times, I’ve felt just like this frantic writer in this cartoon.

COD editing support group for blog post

The comfort in this cartoon is knowing some writers suffer the endless revising of their novels that I fear my continuous revising may be headed for.

Therefore, I googled this question, and many links popped up. I read through at least four of them, from top ten ways to go about getting your book in the best shape to submit it to publishers to what entails revising your novel.

“Half my life is an act of revision.”  John Irving

So, after picking through these websites, I discovered the basic answer. Unfortunately, it’s not a silver bullet, a “Eureka! I’m done!” kind of answer.

But if you trust in your own discernment and ability of when the pinnacle point that renders a polished product is, you’ll be on the right path.

“I have rewritten–often several times–every word I have ever written.        My pencils outlast their erasers.” Vladimir Nabokov  

So, it looks like while you’re going through your many revisions (I’ve lost count), you’ll be refining the wording, sculpting the scenes, sharpening the dialogue to reach that apex.

Your story will eventually culminate into a satisfying whole piece in which you will know in your heart this is the moment to tie it up with a pretty bow and send it out to the editing and publishing world.

In conclusion, trust in your own ability to discern when your story is at its best, most  whole. 

How has your revising process been going? How did you feel when you reached the polished stage of your writing endeavor?




4 thoughts on “In Writing, When Do You Get to that “It’s Ready!” Pinnacle Point?

  1. I love the revision stage–maybe too much! 🙂 I give myself a deadline and then I put it away and work on something else. I need that time away to help me gain distance and perspective. For me, I have found that if I ever start having doubts when I’m away from it, then my gut is telling me it’s not ready.

    You’re right–we have to just trust ourselves to know when the work is done. Much of that requires tuning into our deepest selves and that’s something we need to work on anyway, above and beyond the manuscript!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kate! I agree with you. When I first did revisions to my novel back in 2015, it seemed overwhelming, but I plowed through them. Then I set it aside for a few months and worked on other projects. It is so true that stepping away, or putting the work aside for a couple weeks or so does help in returning later to look at it with fresh eyes. I need to set a deadline for each of my projects. I just stop at a certain point and go to another one of my projects without planning it. Don’t know if that’s good or not so good. lol In any case, I love your comment: “I have found that if I ever start having doubts when I’m away from it, then my gut is telling me it’s not ready.” Yes! I’ve had that feeling many times, and again, I totally agree! Thanks so much for stopping in and giving such great insight! 🙂


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