1. Garball

    Garball Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,827
    Likes Received:
    1,326
    Location:
    S'port, LA

    Enough is enough

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Garball, May 10, 2013.

    At some point, do you just have to label your work complete? I keep rereading my MS and thinking I could say this or do this or describe this. It seems like that could go on forever. Does having those feelings indicate your story is not complete, or is there a point where enough is enough?
     
    LucatheRat likes this.
  2. Gallowglass

    Gallowglass Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Loch na Seilg, Alba
    Endless 'correcting' is just another form of procrastination that delays the finished product. Read it through: if there's no glaring faults after a successive rounds of thorough editing, then you should consider sending it off to publishers. Let their feedback be your guide from here on out: they will tell you if there's anything more that needs improving.
     
  3. Garball

    Garball Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,827
    Likes Received:
    1,326
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    If a publisher or agent sees potential in your work, will they give you feedback and help you out? I was under the impression it was a cut and dry yes or no.
     
  4. jeepea

    jeepea Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Colorado
    I think it was Faulker who said he never completed a work, he just abandon it. At some point you have to say you've done your best and send the thing out. And believe me, even if it is accepted and published, when you read it later, you'll still find errors and wish you could correct them.

    I don't think you will get much input from publishers or agents if they reject your work. They don't have time to critique a work that doesn't suit their needs as is. There are probably exceptions, but very few.
     
  5. Nee

    Nee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    23
    This tendency to rework a piece til it either kills you or you kill it, is why I adopted the always "Edit before doing a Revision" rule. Because most of the time when you feel you could make a particular segment of writing better it means you probably need to cut down rather than add to.
     
  6. TerraIncognita

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    I agree with this.

    It's very difficult for me to put something down and to say it's finished. This is something that extends into all art forms I enjoy. It comes with being a perfectionist. Sometimes the drive to make something better can be good and sometimes it can take over and ruin a work that was great how it was. I'd suggest taking a break from it and coming back to it with fresh eyes. That helps clear things up for me and I've heard a lot of people say it works well for them too. :)
     
  7. Krishan

    Krishan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    37
    Some agents (most good ones) will help you edit a piece to make it the best it can be. Naturally they will only do this if you are their client. If they decline to represent your work, they usually won't provide in-depth feedback.

    All good publishers should arrange for your work (if accepted) to be looked at by an editor. I would be worried if a publisher wanted to put out a book without making any changes to the manuscript whatsoever.
     
  8. nippy818

    nippy818 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    colorado
    That is great advice. So many people I've done writing groups with had amazing pieces but it was never quite good enough for them. I always point out that a halfway decent story, with relatable characters has a better chance than something you never send out. I mean, there are plenty of examples of okay work doing extremely well.
     
  9. Maddy Knight

    Maddy Knight Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2020
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    77
    You will have that feeling even after you are published. If only I had said this, or added that. At some point, yes, you need to say that it is complete. That's all on you to decide.

    Then it goes off to an editor (or not) and then they will decide the 'finished' point. If it is anything like screenwriting, this kind of letting go is one of the toughest things you'll do.
     
  10. Flamenco1

    Flamenco1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    21
    Can you not give it to a friend to read? A Beta read? That forces you to leave it alone while they read - which must be a good thing . As Terraoncognita said

    Maybe you are just too close to it.

    If they read it, enjoy it, then it's good to go. If they come back and say "that's rubbish" then it's not. [ OK a bit simplified ]. Needs to be an honest friend of course; preferrably one who reads a lot of books.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  11. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    697
    I suffer from this myself, absolutely. Yes: at some point, enough is enough. Just like a school paper, just like a work project deadline, eventually you have to throw your hands up and say "I'm finished, forget it!" Cast it out into the world to the wolves and let it sink or swim. Because the truth is you could edit forever if you wanted. You'll find little words that could be better, sentences that aren't quite right. But that's a trap, and that piece of writing isn't worth it anyway. Put it out there, I say! Post it, and say "enough of you!" as one final act of defiance against something that consumed the last 'x' amount of your time!!
     
  12. Natifix

    Natifix Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2020
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    It's good to reread your work, but give it time in between readings. This way it seems like you have a fresh mind every time you read it.
     
  13. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Messages:
    822
    Likes Received:
    1,598
    Let's all pour one out for our homey, the banned OP of this thread.

    On his gravestone is chiseled: FINAL DRAFT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    Naomasa298 and Xoic like this.
  14. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    13,288
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    A bit late to the party. Mofo went down in 2015.
     
    Seven Crowns likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice