Friday, July 9, 2010

Question of the Day #610

I'm at the point where I'm not sure if I'm making my WIP better or worse. I've made so many changes that it almost feels like a totally different story. Made worse by the fact that last night, just before backing away from the computer, kink-necked and blurry eyed, I got an email from a beta reader saying how awesome my book is.

She meant the first version.

How do you know when you're going to far?



  1. When you're making a change that you really don't feel simply because somebody suggested it (assuming that somebody isn't your editor or agent which puts a whole different perspective on it). Do remember that even awesome novels can get better. So here's to your journey "To awesomeity and beyond!"

  2. I think this may be the toughest question of all. I'm not experienced enough to answer with any kind of conviction, but I think you do have to trust to your instinct, your intuition. In the end, it must feel true to you.

  3. With work or art, when I start confusing myself, I walk away from my design. I immerse myself in something else for a while. Before I start into the piece again, I take some time to review my goals (what do I really want this to be about), and then I take a look with fresh eyes. It usually helps immensely and more often than not, I find I've hit the mark, but I can more clearly see what needs modification.

  4. Kinda like shopping for tile for the new kitchen renovation project... after a couple of hours I just have to walk out and come back a couple of days later with a fresh perspective. This is why it takes me a month to pick out tile. And that's just the floor tile; after I select that I'll go thru another rigorous process for the backsplash tile LOL.

    It's all about your gut - your gut/body/mind/instinct/whatever just tells you it's time to walk away. Listen to your gut!! It's just a natural break, your gut tells you to walk away. You're so "in the zone" and that rocks!!!

    Go have a glass of wine or a delicious Bud Light. Rock on Suzi! You are a phenomenal writer!!

  5. Save all versions and have one of your original beta readers reread for you.

    Since I just happened to have deleted 9000 words from my ms this week (about 2000 of which I had also just rewritten from a previous deletion), I can empathize with what you're going through. When you're totally "done," send the new version my way and I'll have another look. : )

  6. All the advice above is excellent. My suggestion is, put your manuscript down, close the files on the computer that involve your WIP and walk away from the story. No matter how tempted, do NOT work on the book for ten days. Make notes? Yes. Jot down new ideas? Absolutely. But do not look at your manuscript. . . . Then when you pick it up again, shut out what everyone has said and follow your instinct. Especially that teeny little niggling voice that says something doesn't feel right, but you dismiss it because you don't think anyone will notice.

  7. When you get my feedback today, you're going to go through another series of "revision hell" - my advice is: your gut totally knows what you're ok with. If you have MANY people saying the same thing, I'd take a look at revising. And like Nancy said, put the book away. You need a break to be able to filter through so much feedback.


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