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  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Is "Good Enough" Good Enough?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Steerpike, Oct 24, 2020.

    By tomorrow, my self-pub middle-grade book will be ready to go. I set myself a firm deadline of October 25 so it would be available before Halloween (it is a book of scary stories). The stories are all done--I'm making the last tweaks today. But every read through I do, I find dozens of "I could do this" or "maybe this other idea would be better." Now that I'm at the 11th hour I find myself wanting to keep tinkering with it to take care of any issues I perceive, no matter how small. I need to hold firm with it--tomorrow, it goes up. Whatever condition it is in will be good enough.

    Right?!
     
  2. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    I believe that you do have to accept "good enough". You could work endlessly to perfect something because there is no such thing as perfect. Plus, at some point you're beating a dead horse and you'd be better off letting the market give you feedback for your next story.
     
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  3. Earp

    Earp Not Sorry Contributor

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    Maybe rather than think of it as 'good enough', which is kind of a negative, maybe tell yourself that what you have is the best you can do right now, and a slightly-less-than-perfect book in the hands of readers is much better than a perfect manuscript in your desk drawer.
     
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  4. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say to definitely sort any SPAG errors. But as far as thinking up other ideas, etc ...well, you can certainly do that if you want to. But not if you want to publish by your deadline.

    However, don't be so hung up on the deadline you set yourself that you put out substandard work. Your work doesn't to be perfect as far as storylines go. But don't put out something that, three months down the line, you're going to be ashamed of.

    I forget which bestselling author it was, who said, when asked how he knows something is ready to be published: "When my publisher comes and takes it away from me."

    He meant, of course, that he could tinker endlessly with it, if somebody didn't make him stop. So don't feel like you're alone with that feeling.

    Have you had anybody else give you feedback on what you've written? That can help ease your concerns, if the feedback is positive. And if the feedback is negative, you might be right to not publish it yet.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck! It's quite an accomplishment to get a collection of stories to that stage.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Thanks, All.

    I'm definitely fixing SPAG, formatting, and all of those things. I don't want it to go out with those sorts of errors. Most of what I'm doing is thinking how this scene could be restructured, or that dialogue could be rewritten. Tinkering.

    This project is one I tinkered with off and on for quite some time, which is why I finally gave myself a hard deadline to get it out.

    I've had a bit of feedback and that's been helpful. The stories are grim, so they may not sit well with the target audience, but I still want them to be good. If people don't like them because they think they're too dark for kids, that's fine with me. It is a project I was working on more for personal reasons than anything else. But I do want a certain quality level in terms of the writing itself :)
     
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  6. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    That's the thing about the 11th hour... if it didn't have to be good enough it would still be the 3rd, 6th, or even the 10th. Once you hit 11, it's game on, the Germans are coming. Ready or not. We have the same discussion in the restaurant biz all the time. Somebody always asks me if we're ready for the weekend, and I always say it's Thursday so it doesn't fucking matter.
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I would think the quality of your book is far more important than any deadline you set for yourself. Readers are not likely to know that you were trying to meet a self imposed deadline, but they will have an opinion on your book. I've missed plenty of deadlines in the past, but my work always ended up being better for it. Good luck.
     
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  8. Earp

    Earp Not Sorry Contributor

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    I think you (and too many parents) would be surprised at how much 'darkness' kids can handle, and would enjoy.

    Let us know when you publish it. I'd like to read it.
     
  9. Cephus

    Cephus Contributor Contributor

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    You could mess with it forever. It's time to move on. Let it go and get back to work.
     

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