Thursday, July 19, 2012

When to Say When

Revisions are pretty neat if you think about it. With a little planning and determination, you have the ability to give your story a face lift. Freshen it up. Delete an unnecessary character, make another more interesting, beef up the MC's motivation. Add some funny! The possibilities are endless! And that's the problem. When do you stop?

I've heard more than one published author say that once their book hits the shelves, they have a hard time even thinking about reading it again. They know they'd find more things they want to change, even though they've already read it through countless times, making it the absolute best they could. There's always something you're going to want to change about your own work. We are our own worst critic, after all. But at some point, you've got to stop obsessively reading over it. Trust yourself that you've made the right decisions by your characters, that you've caught all the pesky typos and out of place commas that you can (let someone else find the rest--sometimes it takes another set of eyes) and send that puppy out into the world! (can you tell I just did another round of revisions this past week?)

Have you done any revising lately? When did/will you say when?


  1. I know the dilemma of going over a piece again and again not knowing when to say when. I recently did that with an article. I finally did send it off though. ;)
    Catherine Denton

  2. Look at you, blogging about something!! *grins* I wonder what inspired this post... ;-)

  3. So true! I never really know how I determine when revisions are "done" and I can send out to CPs. Maybe when the edits get tinier and tinier? But there's always something to be changed!

  4. I'm in the midst of a first draft, so revisions are the farthest from my mind right now! :)

  5. I always said that a book's not finished until it's published, but I totally agree with the statement that even after it's published, it's hard to let go! I just want my book to be the best that it can be, but there comes a point when I know I've done everything I possibly can to make it that, and I have to move on to the next book.

    I'm about to hit another round of revisions on one book, and I'm finishing up the first draft of another. (Well…first draft on part of it. The first half of the book has been rewritten and picked through a lot already.) And then there will be more revisions in my future.

    Critique partners can help you determine when a book is ready, too. Extra pairs of eyes are essential, and more than that, trusted critique partners will let you know if your book is so not ready.

  6. haven't started revisions yet, but hopefully will do so on sunday.
    It's both exciting and scary!

  7. Yes, you're right. And this is motivating me to finish this last read-through and send you my ms, which I know isn't perfect, but you can help me with that ... right? :D

    Congrats on finishing that revision! I'm even more excited for you! <3

  8. I recently wrote a novella to submit and it was due July 10th, so pretty much July 9th I was figured it was done. LOL
    But seriously, I had a gut feeling plus my critique partners giving me the confidence to submit. Eventually you do learn to trust your gut.