Monday, April 25, 2011

♥.•*¨U is for . . .

source
Unprepared!

Have you ever--be honest now!--submitted a book that wasn't ready? How embarrassing is that?

It's as bad as showing up to your big job interview with your skirt tucked into youunderwear. Or going out on a hot date with a piece of spinach wedged between your front teeth.

*Cringe*

Guess what? I have (not the under wear or spinach thing) and I thought my book was ready! I had worked hard on my revisions after several critiques and beta reads.

Pristine novels are no accidents. They are refined over and over and over again. Sent off to a group of insomniac writers to critique. Rewritten and/or refined again. And again. Until... Well, until it shines.

Sometimes enough is enough and we just need to let our baby go into the real world.


When do you know it is time?

19 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I actually have been guilty of that myself (albeit due to laziness or desperation) It's like showing a gold dealer a gold covered in mud that you have, and trying to convince him that it is gold. That's the way I see it. Unless it is cleaned up, and pretty well too, it will never shine! On the flip side though, George Lucas has been credited with this saying, "...films never get finished, they get abandoned." Truth is no book is entirely 100% complete.

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  2. I usually decide it's ready the draft before it's actually ready. And I usually realise just after I send it off in the mail.

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  3. A very interesting post, and another guilty hand up here!

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  4. I've done this so many times with my short stories! Sent them off thinking they're done only to re-read them later and realising - ugh!! So not ready and then getting very embarassed that I've actually sent them off! Oh dear. LOL!!!

    Take care
    x

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  5. Such a wonderful and encouraging point. I'm loving the insomniac writers. :) Writing is hard work, and we need to be persistent as well as supportive of each other. :)

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  6. Yes, I admit I have. But the problem was the agent asked me for pages!!! So I felt the overwhelming urge to submit :P It was my fault for entering the Twitter pitch contest for a manuscript that wasn't ready, though. So I guess in the end it's all my fault. hehe

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  7. I'm also guilty of sending stories off which, in retrospect, I could have polished more, and I do put things away for a while, then get them out an re-examine them ... Must be harder to do with a novel, though, as I should think you just want to get it out there :-)

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  8. Guilty as charged! And now that I've learned the craft, I never think my manuscripts are ready to be sent out. There're always more edits to be done. I think there should be "edit intervention"
    seminars.

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  9. I know when my editor's eyes twinkle and tear-up after several group critques and beta-reads. And then, she shouts, slaps at her desk, and says, "It's a go!"

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  10. LOL! This is cute! Gosh, it's hard to really know when something is ready. I guess when I feel my writing is par with what's published, then I "know."

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  11. security guards sternly approached a man in a new york museum as he was putting fresh paint on some very valuable paintings. the museum was sure they had caught a vandal. it was only the artist touching up his work that the museum had commissioned from him. i had the privilege of knowing this man a while and he told me this story.

    C

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  12. I'm not sure the first time, but I'm really working over the next book. Guess it will be ready when my critique partners say it no longer sucks.

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  13. Guilty! My one-and-only "finished" novel is still a WIP two years after I started trying to query it. After a few partials and many rejections I decided to take stock before I ran out of agents.

    It helps to get new perspectives from tough critique groups. They shredded the work that I thought was ready, and I've been revising ever since.

    I think I'd know it was time when the comments coming back are starting to tug me back and forth, and they are largely nit-picks and matters of personal taste rather than substantial criticisms. A bit like sticking a knife into a baking cake. When it comes out clean, you know it's cooked.

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  14. I think it is hard to know when something is truly ready. I think you need to put some distance between you and the story, go over it again and determine then if it is indeed ready to be sent out into the world.

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  15. Thanks for such honesty, Elizabeth. Many times I do think I'm prepared, but then discover that I could have done more and better.

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  16. Well, I've thought it was ready. So, it's been out in two rounds. I'm now 1/2 way through another round of revisions. It keeps getting better. But I rather submit and be in the game than hold back and never submit.

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  17. I like your style, girl! Count me in! :) My problem is facing my fears and actually FINISHING a book. You are an inspiration, my fellow LDS Latina.

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  18. Thanks for the honesty here! It happened with me when I submitted my very last book. I was so blessed when the publisher didn't mind that I did some rewrites. I was SO embarrassed that they'd want me. I wanted my book to be something SPECTACULAR and nothing I'd be embarrassed to promote.

    I thought my book was ready, after what it'd gone through?

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