Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Does Done Really Mean?

On Saturday I sent the latest revisions of my MS to some CPs.  I've revised this manuscript so many times that I've lost count.  But each time, it's gotten better.  So naturally I'm thinking, if I keep revising, it will continue to get better.  But will it?  There is such a thing of revising too much.  So when is a MS done?  That's something I'm still trying to figure out.  When is good enough, good enough?  And do I really just want good enough and not good?  What's the difference?

It's these things that run through my mind as I sent my MS off to *fingers crossed* the last set of critiques.  I'm hoping, except for a few tweaks, that this might be it.  That I'm done.  That it's good.  Or good enough.  Or something.

I've never queried, and frankly, the thought kinda terrifies me.  I don't want to put something out there that isn't close to being ready.  But I think it's really hard to be so subjective with your own work.  There's always something that could be revised again.  Just a bit more tension here, a few tweaks there.  Can always keep working on the same piece.  And as a perfectionist, that's what I tend to do.

But at the same time, if it's done, it's done.  I shouldn't prolong it because of nerves, that could lead to over-editing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to query at some point, but also terrified.  And I want the MS to be the best that it can be.

This where I have to trust my gut, I think (and my CPs).

How do you tell if your work is good enough? (Whatever that means.)

8 comments:

  1. It's hard to tell. I have a set of steps I follow in the writing and revision process. When I'm out of steps, it's done. It might not be perfect (okay, it never is), but it is done in that I am not working on it any more.

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    1. That's a good way to think about it. I usually have a few steps too and then I'll turn to my CPs to see if I missed anything.

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  2. My newest strategy is to research "editorial agents." it's my new obsession. That and The Originals on the CW

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    1. I haven't started watching The Originals yet!! I'm so far behind!

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  3. I think it's done when the feedback starts changing happy to glad, that sort of minor subjective stuff. Then off it goes!

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    1. Yes, everything is definitely subjective! Always good to listen to one's feedback :)

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  4. I still haven't figured out an answer to "is it done?" for my writing either. I'm working on my first revision of a WIP, so I know that there are several more versions before I'm ready to query. I also know that I revised my first book like 7 times, and each time, I thought it was better. Does that mean I need to revise my WIP 7 times? I don't think so. Any agent will want more revisions anyway, and then an editor will want more if you get a book deal. Really, I'm amazed any book makes it to print!

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    1. Right? I think distancing oneself may help, and knowing it's the best *you* can make it. (And then if you get an agent/editor, they can help make it better.) And I guess everything really is so subjective. I just keep finding myself saying "one more round of betas"...

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