Tuesday, October 4, 2016
October IWSG: IS IT DONE YET?
This month's question is: When do you know your story is ready?
For me, that answer differ's with each story. I have a minimal criteria: my crit partners need to be down to story tweaking only (no formatting or technical errors mentioned); I have to review my story premise (sometimes entails writing a blurb) and be sure the beginning, middle, and end hit all the hastily written plot points; the submission deadline is not more than a week away; I'm spending more time on a potential sequel or the next new project than this familiar love.
Or, more likely than not, I've found a publisher I want to submit to and I'm curious if I'll get a rejection or acceptance.
I have written several novels, and even queried the one complete book; but I've only really focused on getting short stories published. I guess its because I've had several published. I'm all about the instant gratification - even without a major pay out. I know, the writing motto is essentially: I do it because I have to, not for the money. Well, I guess that's why I call myself a hobby writer: I write because its fulfilling not cuz it pays. Something to keep the boredom away. I play Lotto on the off chance my numbers will come up someday too.
Well, that was the long answer. The short answer would be: its a leap of faith. I either submit to a potential publication (after much tweaking and rewriting) to achieve its fate; or save it to a file and forget about it. I don't believe there is a true "done" to a story. Its like asking the question: when do you stop raising your children?"
I've raised five children to adult-hood. One told me to butt out of his life at 17 and I had to bite my tongue so hard on his decisions I'm amazed I still have a tongue. Another made it to 25 before I finally told him he had to deal with his own life. Is there a right answer to the questions "when is your story ready" and "when are your children grown-ups?"
I say "Nope!" But if you want that thing to be published, you gotta just let go. And believe in your nurturing/creative instincts.
Please be sure to visit our host Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts: Beverly Stowe, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora, Angela Wooledridge, and Susan Gourley.