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?

 

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Say It Loudly and Proudly…You ARE a Writer

fountain pen on white paper

I read a couple of blog posts from fellow writers this past week talking about their hesitancies in calling themselves writers or authors, even though both of them have had works published.

The main thoughts that ran through my head were, “Well, of course, you’re a writer. You’ve written books, published them, and continue to write. Why wouldn’t you call yourself a writer?”

As I understood their explanations, when they were asked what they do, they weren’t confident enough in themselves due to the social stigma of saying “I’m a writer.”

If they were to say they were writers, they’d often get questions like, “Have you been published?” or worse, “Yes, but what’s your real job.”  So some fellow authors would respond with falling back on their other day job, such as working in an office or a stay-at-home mom.

But they came to the realization that they ARE worthy of the title of writer. They ARE WRITERS/AUTHORS. It’s part of who they are. It’s a part of who all of us writers are.

It’s an extension of ourselves. Our hearts, souls, experiences, and unique social and cultural backgrounds. We share this indirectly and sometimes directly in our writings, and it’s a good thing.

writing on the grass

I have to tell you, saying I am a writer has been easy. It is one area in my life where I have complete confidence.

I knew I could write in my teens and early twenties, even though I lacked a lot of  knowledge on how to write in-depth characters, totally believable plots, and point of view (POV).

Even after I quit writing from around 1997 to 2014, I never thought I couldn’t write. I’d just put it on the back burner due to putting business college, a job, my marriage, and then my children along with my husband as my top priority (as I felt I should be).

I didn’t really think too much about picking up a pen and scrawling across a blank sheet of paper then because few ideas sprung up.

Life works that way, I think. Things happen when they’re supposed to.

sunset orange

Ideas began to sprout in the summer and early fall of 2014 before I registered for online college to get a degree in Creative Writing and English.

The ideas did start popping up when I knew I could make my schooling experience all about writing stories, all about a future in what has always been in me since I was a child.

That flame has never been totally doused.

Playing certain sports and writing stories were the only two things I had total confidence in myself throughout my childhood, adulthood, up to the present day.

My confidence grew through four years in college. All the negative thoughts I had of myself that I’d heard from people throughout my life lessened, became small, insignificant. I began to see myself much more positively.

proud woman

Yes, I am smart. Yes, I can write very well. Yes, I am a writer. It’s part of who I am. I’m thankful I’ve not felt insecure, scared, or apprehensive in telling people who ask me what I do.

Even if I’d never had anything published, I’m still an author. It’s my job. It’s my main focus every day in the midst of my family and life of faith.

Have you had the confidence to tell others you are a writer? If you’re writing on a regular basis. If it’s your passion. If it’s part of who you are, YOU ARE A WRITER. Wear that badge with honor and pride.

 

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Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!

 

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