Monday, February 16, 2015

when is it GOOD enough?

Ana asks: When do you know your story is good enough to send off or self-publish?

I have typed 'The End' twice. The first time, I was naive and believed I'd penned a bestseller.
Crash-landing was rough, but I survived.

The second time, I knew my story was unsubmittable. It did not follow traditional rules for time travel romances, and self-publishing was not on my radar. (Thank goodness. The story needs another go-through with critique partners before it goes to to-be-determined editors and beta readers.)
The heroine does not go back in time until the first plot twist. Usually it's by the end of the first chapter or early in the second chapter.

I believe in the story enough to step out on a limb plot-wise and character-love-story wise, but this means I need to have everything else darn near perfect. Offer no easy excuse to be rejected or receive a slew of one star reviews.

So, oh wise and experienced ones, how to you know...when do you know your WIP is good enough to   fly out the door?


  1. I wish I knew the answer to this one, Ana. As authors we're too close to our own work. But I have found that if I put it to one side for a couple of months (this is after I've done all my re-writes and polishing, etc) I can see it more clearly and pick up on things that I somehow missed before. The basic trouble is that we're too close to our own work to see what others see.

  2. That's a good suggestion, Margaret.

  3. Sometimes, Ana, you just have to take that leap of faith. But you can also submit it to contests where they provide feedback so you can get an idea from unbiased people.

  4. I am the world's worst at editing, re-writing, tweaking etc - but at some point I just have to tell myself to STOP! As Jen has said, you eventually need to take that leap of faith!

    Having said that, I have now got the rights back to Fragrance of Violets - and yes, I'm tweaking and re-tweaking it yet again!

  5. Just want to add that a tradition is not a rule! I see absolutely no reason why you can't go into the time-travel part later than 'tradition' seems to dictate!

  6. For me there's no hard and fast rule, it's just a gut feeling, or when I've looked at the mss so many times I want to puke and just get it out of my sight!

    Usually, as soon as I send it off, I think of something I should have changed. Thank goodness for edits if it get a contract. :)