Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group October 2016 Entry

Hello and welcome to the October edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brain child of our fearless leader Captain Alex! It's a monthly airing out of writerly insecurities and offering of support to those in need. Please check out the website and sign up if you aren't already involved! And don't forget to visit the sites of our co-hosts and thank them for helping out with this month's blog-hop: Susan Says, Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Angela Wooldridge!!

This month I'm feeling a bit frazzled but not particularly insecure. I've submitted a small recipe (still heard nothing back) and I've got one magazine submission on my desktop awaiting edits. My WIP is plodding along, I'm chewing on a story for a blog-hop AND I've just now started work on my submission to the IWSG Anthology Contest. All this is stacked on top of two other articles that need projects completed before I can write them/photograph them. Whew! See. Frazzled.

The question this month is "When do you know your story is ready?" I've done a bit of thinking on this and I've two answers. When I'm working on a short piece (university term papers come to mind) I know it's ready when I read it out loud and it has a definitive end. I always read my work out loud, especially if it's something I need to submit. When I can read the end of the piece with an air of finality then I know that it's finished. Now for longer works, novels for instance, I don't really know! I've finished three in the past, none of which are publishable, and any time I pick them back up I cringe at them. They are most definitely NOT finished. How will I know when a novel is done? Perhaps it will be the same as with the short works. Perhaps I'll spend a week reading it out loud and when I reach that last page, when I breathe the final words, exhaling "The End" perhaps it will ring with a finality that will make me sigh with relief. That's what I'm looking for, anyway.

What about YOU? When do you know your story is finished? I'm especially curious to hear from you published novel writers. What told you your book was ready?

Happy writing!


  1. I shared a short list on my blog today and a few links for more lists on the IWSG blog. The list grows all the time.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Susan! And thank you for your list. Thanks to this month's topic I'm constructing my own checklist :)

  2. That's great advice! Good luck with all your projects!

  3. Smart to read out loud. It does make a difference.
    Hope you get to submit something to the anthology. We just lowered the word count, so hope that helps.

  4. I like reading aloud too. Gives me a sense continuity and clarity. If I feel neither of these two emotions, I know I'm not finished. Don't you just love that inner voice that hints at stuff like: keep plodding, not quite right yet?

  5. Yep, you're frazzled, but it's in a totally good way, if that makes sense. :)

    Good luck with all of your writing projects!

  6. I run my work through my critique group and usually a few other writers. I try to vary who reads it from manuscript to manuscript too. My husband always reads my work because he catches the oddest inconsistencies. He's not a writer but I value his input so much! He is not afraid to tell me if something is not working. Then I have an agent who is another round to go through.

    Here's my October IWSG post: Top 10 Ways to know if you're ready to share your writing

  7. Actually the reading out-loud thing is a good barometer on if something is ready. I use text-to-speech software to read my own work back to me (so I can listen to it at work or on the bus), and you know when something just doesn't sound right when in your ears. Hopefully when you've ironed out all those awkward phrases and plotholes being drilled into your ears, it will be ready.

    IWSG October

  8. I tend to read it on my ereader. I see it all--good and bad. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Reading it out loud is a good practice. Just like with the university papers, you'll know when the novel is done. It's a gut feeling. Listen to your inner self.

  10. After the beta readers, critique group edits, editor comments applied, and a couple of read-throughs later, then I stamp it ready when I know it can't get it any better. A perfectionist I'm not.

  11. Hi Jen, Yep, reading aloud - you can't beat it ;)
    I'm still wading through the process of trying to determine when my novel will be finished >sigh<

  12. Looking forward to hearing you announce that you got to that final sigh, the end. It's hard to keep the energy for longer work, to rework it, when it's not fresh anymore. Cheers!

  13. I answered that one on my blog. I have a list, but you definitely have to be to the point where you're at least ready to show your work to others.

    Sounds like you have a ton of WONDERFUL things going on. I know it's hard to see that when in the heat of it, but I hope you celebrate those awesome things right now.


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