Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: When do you know your story is ready?

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Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. 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!

Our Co-Sponsor's this month are:
 Beverly Stowe McClure
Megan Morgan
Viola Fury
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Angela Wooldridge
Susan Gourley

When do you know your story is ready?

Short Answer: A long time after you think it is. ;-)

Long Answer: There are steps to getting a story ready. When you've finished the first/second/third draft, you might think it's ready, but wait! There's more to be done. If you don't have some beta readers, get them post haste. You need more eyes on the story before it sees the light of publishing. I know I needed this step. When my betas could easily identify places I told instead of showing, others that were actual plot holes, and most importantly, characters who needed to be expanded so that the motivations behind their actions were clear. Without this input my story would have been much poorer.

Next I found that polishing was a labor-intensive step. This step took more than one pass. I was still amazed at what I'd missed and shudder what I'm still lacking even though three agents have partials. 

That's when I knew it was time to pitch. I've not worked up the moxie to cold query yet. I'll let this round of partials play out was I work on book 2. 
Walk Among the Leaves with Me

Happy Writing!
Next week: A new harvest of the Book Pusher's Mini Book Reviews!


  1. Yup, there's always another step. But it seems like you have it well in hand! Good luck on the partials you already have out, and if they don't work out be confident that you know how to make the next batch even better!

    IWSG October

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, C. D. The camaraderie of writers keeps us going. Good luck on your writing, too!

  2. YES!!! Publishing is the refining fire--and if you don't get all those blemishes out along the way, reviewers will shine the light on them.

  3. I love your short answer! And that's a good point about how it takes multiple sets of eyes on a manuscript to see the various holes that need filling, squeaky joints that need oiling, etc. I'm grateful for my WFWA critique group; even when they disagree, they point out areas where something's not working as I intended.
    Happy writing, Zan Marie!

    1. Happy writing to you, too, Rhonda! Are you rested up from the WFWA retreat yet? I'm working on it.

  4. I got an R&R from an agent. As I dug in to start working I found so many typos, despite the many passes and people I'd had read it for editing. I was so embarrassed. At least she'd still liked it enough to give me an the chance to improve.

    I'm hoping such good things for your partials.

    1. I know I've been shocked by what I've found in my own stuff. I hope the R&R went well.

  5. I feel that a story is done when there is some resolution; either in the plot or with the characters. Other than that, I'm never sure. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Viola. I know that plot and characters are easier to catch than the niggling little typos.

  6. Your short answer made me laugh out loud. So true.


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