div#ContactForm1 { display: none !important; }

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


It's time for. . . IWSG!

What is that?

Well, for those of you who don't know. . .the amazing founder of this awesome group, Alex J. Cavanaugh, says it this way:

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!

A huge thanks goes to the super-duper co-hosts:  Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley

This month brought a big reminder that nothing is ever sure in the world o' publishing. Even when contracts are signed, manuscripts edited and the promotion runs smoothly, there's still no guarantee that shiny book will ever hit the shelves.

Crazy? Gosh, yes.

But I've learned time and again that until the book is in your excitedly sweaty little hands, there's always the chance things won't work out.

So onward bound!

This month's question is: How do you know your story is ready?

My answer: You don't because it's never really ready.

Now, to back peddle a bit on that one. . .   As a writer, I'll never find my work perfect. And I haven't run into any writers who have reached that heavenly state of certainty. But that obviously can't be the answer because our inner critics would be the death of all writers.

I consider a story ready:

1) When the deadline is reached, and I don't have any more time to edit and rewrite. Tick...tock...time is up!    But this is the simple one.

2) When I run out of betas! Lol! Okay, not quite. I do my 1st draft, several rewrites and edits, and then send it out the door to my CPs. Then comes another round of edits. Maybe two. Maybe three? Off to 2-3 betas. More rewrites and edits. Off to the next round of betas. More rewrites and edits. Usually, I'll call it quits here and deem said story ready. Unless my gut is telling me otherwise. Then, I might be seeking 1-2 more betas to make sure.

That's my scheme....unless I change it. Which I do. Often.

And how about you? When do you know that your story is ready to hit the world?


  1. I'm sorry you had a harsh reminder about the uncertainty of the publishing world! But I love your onward and upward attitude. :)

  2. It really does boil down to betas in my book too. It's when they stop having things to say that you know you're good.

  3. No guarantees all right.
    Deadlines definitely help. Then we have no choice.

  4. Deadlines definitely help one focus. Sorry about the publishing issue!

  5. Publishing can be two extremes of amazing and horrible and everything in between. For every Brad Pitt there's a 100 actors that no one's ever heard of.

    I realized a long time ago that I can edit forever. So I do what I can within a certain number of edits, then it's just hands off. I'm not trying to get myself strait-jacketed. :)

  6. Ugh on the uncertainty of publishing. Hang in there!

  7. So sorry about the book disappointment. I have seen a lot of that lately in one of my FB groups -- a book being cancelled just a few weeks prior to publication. :(

    As for the question, "When is it ready?" -- I know I'm finished with revisions when I'm down to piddling word choices and not changing anything significant any more.

  8. No guarantees at all. I met a lady at a conference whose book was sold to a large publishing house, just so they could shelve it so it couldn't compete with a new book they had in the works. She was so sad. All that hard work and it will never see the light of day.
    (At least that was her story...I didn't fact check that!)

  9. "When you run out of betas" LOL, I love that. Of course, as you said, you can always get new ones, so maybe a book is never finished.

  10. We have to move past the bad times. Glad to see you're staying positive.

  11. There is nothing sure in the world of publishing. I've sent out many manuscripts that weren't ready but I'm learning.

  12. So sorry about your disappointment with the publishing world. It's such a hard business. I liked what you said about betas. They are key!

  13. It's hard to know when it's ready. Sometimes it's just a gut feeling. Sometimes it's because I've gone through 20 edits and I hate it so much I can't look at it anymore. :) And sometimes it's just because I'm ready. I'm ready and prepared to query and let myself out.

  14. I feel like I know it's done when I get thoroughly tired of it. Or when I run out of betas. That, too.

  15. It sounds like you've got the process sorted. I'm starting to worry though - are there enough betas in the world?

  16. No story is ever done. It always needs one more tweak, a different word, etc. We can revise a story to death. You have to do the best you can then let it go.

  17. Sorry to hear about the book falling through. I like the description of your writing process. That about sums it up.


I would love to hear your valuable Tidbits -