Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Enough is Enough!

   There comes a point, during your self editing/revision process, where you just have to sit back and say, "Enough!" Face it, your story will never be perfect. Every reader is a little different, and has their own personal expectations while reading a book. How do you please all of your readers, all of the time? Simply put, you can't.
   The most difficult phase of this process is the opening scene of your story. You want to gain the reader's attention, right? Well, for some, that could be the first ten pages, the first page, the first paragraph, or even the first sentence.

   For example, you start off your story with dialogue because you've dreamed up this awesome character, and want to introduce him/her to the world. The first person you share it with, be it a critique partner or family member, says they read somewhere that you should never start a story with dialogue. So, you re-write it to add some action. Now the problem is they can't relate to the action because the characters are unknown. Someone else asks, 'where's the tension?' You try and re-write it again.

   When does it all stop? Only you can decide. This is true for the entire novel, not just the beginning. You can revise yourself into an early grave, but at some point, you have to realize that all you're doing is making the story different and not better. You've done your best to weave all of those elements into your story, from start to finish, and now it's time for a professional editor.

   A good editor should be able to help you polish those rough edges and untangle plot knots you didn't even know were there.

   The ultimate decision to say when enough is enough, is yours. Is it the best it can be? Probably not, but if it's the best you can do at this point in your writing journey, publish it and go on to your next story. Take what you have learned and improve. Even the most popular authors started with books that weren't stellar, so go for it!

   Thanks for reading!

BTW. Even though I hope my blog posts will help someone in a small way, my main purpose is to help me verbalize some of the issues I've been dealing with in my own writing. I'm certainly no expert, so take any advice I may give with a grain of salt. Have a great writing week!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Roland, This post really resonates with me as I am gearing myself up for another final edit of my novel Monster Moored. Thanks for your thoughts. I got here via your more recent post on depression. I had to work through a couple of weeks of depression before I could see the need for the edit.