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View Full Version : When do you stop?



Deccydiva
07-29-2008, 03:37 PM
Okay so you have your novel written, set aside, re-read, edited, re-written in places :e2BIC: and repeat the process until it's perfect. :snoopy:

BUT how do you know you've reached that point, where it is as good as you can make it? I have re-visited work I did many years ago and STILL I would make some changes here and there... :e2writer: it seems endless. :Headbang: So - when do you consider a work to be finished???

KTC
07-29-2008, 03:41 PM
You just have to make it as good as you can make it...then you start the query and submission process. I wouldn't re-visit it at this stage...but just keep trying to put it out there. If you keep looking at it once you have it as polished as you feel you can possibly make it, you will still find something to change. It's a vicious circle. FINISH and leave it...otherwise, you'll just drive yourself crazy.

Jill
07-29-2008, 04:22 PM
BUT how do you know you've reached that point, where it is as good as you can make it? I have re-visited work I did many years ago and STILL I would make some changes here and there...

Never! You can go on making changes forever but you have to let it go and get on with the next.

Clair Dickson
07-29-2008, 05:29 PM
Pick a point when it's as good as it's going to be-- most published authors will admit to things they wanted to tweak or change.

And, yeah, start querying. If you get a lot of rejections, then maybe re-evaluate.

I usually do it when I get bored with rewriting and just want to be done. =) My tolerance has limits.

Chameleon
07-29-2008, 05:31 PM
Okay so you have your novel written, set aside, re-read, edited, re-written in places :e2BIC: and repeat the process until it's perfect. :snoopy:

BUT how do you know you've reached that point, where it is as good as you can make it? I have re-visited work I did many years ago and STILL I would make some changes here and there... :e2writer: it seems endless. :Headbang: So - when do you consider a work to be finished???

Have you tried a beta reader? They can point out something that you might've missed during the editing process.

Fillanzea
07-29-2008, 05:40 PM
I'd stop at the point where there are no structural changes that I want to make, I've been over the entire text at least twice (if I add a new scene in draft 4, for example, I'd want to make sure to put it through at least one revision), and I'm at the point of just pushing words around here and there.

Shadow_Ferret
07-29-2008, 05:41 PM
There comes a point in every novel's life when it's just time to cut the aprons strings and go out into the real world. You, as the parent, probably don't think it's time, but you have to be strong and do what's right for little Novey; give him a hug and say, good luck.

Seriously, if you're still making major revisions to the story, if you still have plot holes that need to be filled, then it isn't complete. But if you just find yourself reading it and going, "You know, I think 'paced' is more forceful than 'walked' in this instance," then it's time to send it out. You're just wasting your time and annoying the novel.

underthecity
07-29-2008, 08:03 PM
Yes! Get beta readers. They'll definitely let you know if it needs more work and what is wrong with it. Obvios problems will be invisible to you. OR, it might not have any problems at all.

Beta readers pointed out the problems with my novel. Boy oh boy, did they find problems.

allen

tehuti88
07-29-2008, 09:24 PM
In truth I think most works are never really finished. There will almost always be SOME point, SOMEWHERE down the line, when they can be changed or "improved." Even if something you write is perfect right now and you'd absolutely not change it, how can you be sure you'd feel the same a few years from now?

Sometimes one has to just accept that there will still be things they'll want to change, and move on.

kuwisdelu
07-29-2008, 10:23 PM
Start submitting when your idea of "editing" is sitting for a half hour scrutinizing "major problems" at the sentence and word level and never quite decide on anything truly "better."

Someone tattoo this on my eyeballs.