♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
How do you know when you’ve done all the editing you can on your story?
Or that you’ve gone to far?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
When done is good enough is when I’m done. How else can you explain it? A clean, error free copy is the goal, but if you’ve been a writer for long, then you know that often is an elusive thing. Typos crop up no matter how many eyes have had a gander.
Don’t drive yourself mad. That is my first rule. Done is when I feel I can’t add anything more to the narrative, when I’ve painstakingly gone through it with my editor, when the proofreader has had a comb through. I never feel confident about releasing a work, but that is a common problem for a writer. We agonize that we’ve missed a detail. You know the one. That tidbit that would definitely make the difference between our work being a hot new sensation in the literary world or just achieving mediocrity.
Is writing a book and publishing actually mediocrity, though? Absolutely not! Think about what you’ve accomplished and the number of those who manage to do so. And oh, how much work you’ve put into this piece of literature. Don’t put yourself down. (Yes, I am also talking to myself).
Don’t miss the big picture. Don’t forget to celebrate. That little voice telling you not to let go and do the thing is fear. Look, even if you do forget something, you could always slip that into a second edition. Write it down and save the idea for a different work. Perhaps, what you’ve thought of is for a sequel?
Deciding when you’ve finished is never easy. Breaking my series into three parts was part of the overall process. I wrote then consecutively. When a point came up that seemed like a nice break, I took that as a clue. When I went through edits, I shored it up. That said, even in the end, pushing the button was misery. That fear haunts you. What if I glossed over too many typos for a reader to forgive? Did the editor just say I was good at this, or am I really honing this craft to the point I hardly need them?
A lot of doubt comes with the process of writing a book. From start to finish there will always be some point that doesn’t settle quite right. Yet, somehow, you get that feeling that is time the bird left the nest. The best you can do is hope that it flies high. Even if it doesn’t, remember not all birds fly, and they’re pretty epic regardless (Penguin, Emu, Ostrich, Cassowary, so on).
Your dodo is going to still be a marvel to behold just as a testament to your fortitude. So let it go into the world and build your empire. Letting go is a hard step to take in the process (worse that getting started by a long stretch). But, hear me out, this is the point of bothering to write it all down. Sharing was the point.
How will you know for sure, though, that you’re ready to move forward? Just as I stated above: you’ve drafted multiple times, your editor has gone through it and you’ve worked with them for a final copy, then you’ve gone to your proofreader and now you’re ready for a cover/interior designer. That’s it.
If you want to know when you’re ready to send your work to an editor: when you’re ready to hear some harsh truths about your writing, and you’ve drafted it several times completing the narrative. Sometimes, it takes an editor reviewing an earlier draft (such as your 4th draft) to shake loose a detail or gel things better in your head. They’re going to ask you questions and likely point out major plot holes.
Once you’re sorted with the editor, you’re definitely there. I insist upon a proofreader, because they find the annoying typos and dangly sentences missed in the editing completion that you did (not the editor, your accepting their suggestions and rewriting–this is a huge source of typos).
Publishing a book is a big deal. Don’t let your fears lead to an overworked story. The greatest piece of advice I received from an editor was: you’ll only write as well as your skills at the time are capable of allowing you to write. There is always room to grow as an author. The idea that you can be perfect is a rabbit hole of disappointment.
In the end, don’t sweat so hard about is it really finished? You’ll get a feeling. It’s hard to describe, but we each know in our own time that this is the time to let the bird leave the nest.
Click on the links below to find out how the other authors in the hop know they’re done…