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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blood, Sweat and Hair Pulling Required

It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is 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. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader.  To read other members, click here.

Its ready when its ready.

Since January, when I sent my not-so-current project out to be critiqued by an author/editor I know, I’ve tried to embrace that slogan. Why? Because it’s true. The woman who read my book identified many positives and offered so much encouragement. She also pointed to a boatload of issues, many of them obvious once they were brought to my attention. Eliminate slow moving chapters and one point of view. Ratchet up the action. Develop new scenes. Give one of the POV characters more of an arc.

You betcha it was daunting. At first, I wondered if I could do it all, but once I got to work, everything made sense. That said, it’s the first week in April and I’m still plugging away. Oh, how I wish I was done and could get back to the evolving draft of what I consider my “current” project, on hold now so I can concentrate on this editing exercise.

But my focus needs to be on the editing, the continuing improvements, even though I’m itching to call this story done and start querying it again. But I won’t yet, because while the thing is miles better than it was, there’s still work to be done, including one scene the editor didn’t touch, that’s been niggling at me. I’ve been asking myself, is that really how it would have happened? Finally, a voice in my head spoke up. Nope. I’ve done so much work repairing the rest of the book, it would be foolish not to correct that part, too. I owe it to myself.

What’s my point? Maybe its presumptuous of me to think I know anything, since I’m still trying to publish my first novel, but here’s my take. If you have one iota of thought that your book isn’t as perfect as it can be, don’t waste it by querying too early. If you haven’t already, send it to an objective, knowing reader or editor, and be prepared to put the time in to make recommended changes.

For me, it all comes down to this. What do I want to be known for? Publishing a book, or for publishing a good book?