Wednesday, 5 October 2016

IWSG: When Do You Know Your Story is Ready?


Another month has passed, which means it's time for another IWSG post. 
The brainchild of the always supportive Alex J. Cavanaugh, the group's purpose is to share and encourage. A place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Now for October's IWSG question: 

When do you know your story is ready?

I can answer this question with three words: I don't know.

From the first draft to beta-readers, there is never a point when I can say a story is ready. There is only I hope it's ready. At some point I have to let go and trust it will be good enough. I wish I could have answered this month's question with something more insightful or profound, though I suspect I'm not the only one who will answer the question in this way. As always, I'm curious as to how or when you decide a story is ready. 

While I've got your attention focused on IWSG, did you know they've announced their second anthology competition?

This year's chosen genre is fantasy, and the theme Hero Lost. The competition is open to any member of the group, so start sharpening those pencils! Full details can be found here


You can read the 2015 winning entries in Parallels, Felix Was Here.


That's it for this month's IWSG post. Time to visit some fellow members.

26 comments:

  1. We just need hope and faith that it's ready.

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  2. Hi Ellie - you're so right .. but Alex' comment is so true ... we need to keep writing and getting out there with our works ... good luck and cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. Alex is so right - hope and faith are important to us all.

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  3. Sometimes it's hard to tell, but I always rely on my CPs. I trust in them and they've never steered me wrong. :)

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    1. Critique partners are a writer's best friend.

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  4. 'I don't know' is probably one of the wisest answers to this question.
    That's why other perspectives are so important!

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    1. Absolutely. That's why the IWSG is so important. Where else would we get so many great, but differing perspectives?

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  5. Thanks for the shout on the old anthology. I hope you're getting some answers from your visits today. This is one of the hardest questions to answer, eh?

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    1. Yep. I don't there is right answer, more finding a method that works for each individual.

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  6. I expect we do all feel that way. I am getting better at letting go but there's always something to fix.

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    1. I think we could go on tweaking and fixing forever. There has to come a point where we writers let it go.

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  7. I think that's why we need critique partners and editors.

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    1. I agree. I have a developmental editor, which makes all the difference. She always pulls apart the bits I wasn't 100% sure about, proving I need to listen to my gut instinct more often.

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  8. I do put a lot of faith in my CPs to let me know if I'm on the right track to it being ready to publish or not. It's also helped to have worked as an editor. You get a feel for these things after a while, although a writer can endlessly tinker with a project.

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    1. Critique partners are a must for every writer. Working as an editor has to be an enormous advantage as well.

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  9. Each project requires a new decision. I follow some basic rules that include beta readers, my critique group, editor, and the knowledge that I am not a perfectionist. At some point, it is time to say that it is my best. Then it is ready.

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    1. I pretty much follow the same path, and at some magical point my gut tells me it's ready.

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  10. "I don't know" sounds like my answer, lol.

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    1. I'm glad (I think) that I'm not the only one.

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  11. Like you Ellie, I can only hope that my book is ready! I'm never 100% sure that its ready!

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    1. I don't think any of us are 100% sure. We just need to take a leap of faith and let it free.

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  12. It think it's a lot like painting, never finished but add more will take away.

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