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Drachen Jager
02-10-2012, 10:32 PM
The first few drafts of my first novel seemed awesome to me. A surefire best-seller.

Then I started to really learn about writing, I began to see more and more flaws. Each new draft I wrote never really satisfied me like the first few had. That novel failed to find representation so I started another. This time I felt it lacked... something. I studied more writing techniques, got beta readers and re-wrote it. I still wasn't satisfied, but I started sending it out to agents without much success.

I pulled it and did another major re-write. This time agents liked it, but even so I wasn't happy. I was in the middle of a re-write when my agent signed me. She wanted to send it off to publishers right away. I wondered, because I knew it was missing something, but deferred to her experience.

The first round went okay. Several rejections, but one editor gave me two pages of notes.

So I took those notes, and the re-write I'd been working on before and spent three months gutting and re-finishing the novel. Now, for the first time in a long time I feel like I actually have a great manuscript on my hands. It doesn't have that 'missing something' feeling like it did in the past. I really feel like it could go somewhere, but frankly that scares the hell out of me. I've learned not to get my hopes up too high.

For those of you who are successfully published. Can you tell when it's right? Does feeling right in your gut correlate in any way to finding success with publishers and audiences?

Phaeal
02-10-2012, 10:36 PM
I knew in my gut that when I pulled my last MS from query status and rewrote it that THIS time I'd gotten it right.

Next time I'll listen to those pesky niggling doubts right away.

Jamesaritchie
02-10-2012, 11:33 PM
For those of you who are successfully published. Can you tell when it's right? Does feeling right in your gut correlate in any way to finding success with publishers and audiences?

No, I can't tell when it's right. If I could, I'd never receive a rejection. I can. however, tell when it's about as good as I can reasonably make it without falling into the Perfectionism Trap.

After this, it's up to editors to judge how good or bad, right or wrong, it is.

Libbie
02-11-2012, 06:21 AM
Yes, I can tell when it's right (bearing in mind that everybody will have a different opinion of every work -- what strikes me as right may not strike an agent or editor or reader as right. You just do the best you can.) I don't like to let my internal alarm stop me from progressing on my books, though, so when I write something I feel isn't right, I stick a note in it that says "FIX THIS!" or "THIS IS WEAK!" or something to that effect, so I can rework it during revisions and make it right.

blacbird
02-11-2012, 10:17 AM
No.

Nothing I've ever submitted anywhere has been "right", by the judgment of editors and agents.

So obviously I have no right to determine what's "right".

caw

Kitty27
02-11-2012, 11:35 AM
Yes,I can.

When it's shining like a pair of new Dayton rims and just chock full of swag,I know it's done. It's a hard feeling to describe but it's just that moment when have polished,sweated,cried, and driven yourself half mad(or is it just me?) and know you've done everything humanly possible to the novel,that this is IT.

gothicangel
02-11-2012, 12:32 PM
When I start writing a WIP, everything is wonderful, shiny and right. Then as I get stuck into editing I just can't tell anymore [there right now.]

I've come to the conclusion that the best I can do is write 'right' for myself. I'll just let the professionals decide if it's 'right' for publication.

BethS
02-11-2012, 07:15 PM
I know in my gut when I've nailed it.

But that doesn't mean every reader (including agents and editors) will get that same tingle.

Writing/reading/selling is a very subjective business.

That said, if you've really done well with it, then at least a fair percentage of professionals will recognize the quality.

BethS
02-11-2012, 07:17 PM
When I start writing a WIP, everything is wonderful, shiny and right. Then as I get stuck into editing I just can't tell anymore [there right now.]



Interesting, because it's the exact opposite for me. The initial words on the page rarely sing, but when I revise, that's when the story comes to life.

I've long since come to the conclusion that I'm a far better rewriter than writer. :)

jaksen
02-11-2012, 07:33 PM
I often think it's right, perfect, splendid and oh-my-God it can't get any better!

But then the editor rejects it, so I was wrong.

I've been right, though, enough times to feel fairly confident about my writing.

But I still get it wrong sometimes.

DeleyanLee
02-11-2012, 07:40 PM
The first thing my betas look for is: What story is on the page?

That's how I know whether or not I got it "right" or not because what "right" means, to me, that the story I had in my head got onto the page.

Now, whether or not that makes the story saleable, I don't know. The one story I finished recently, I sold (AW Anthology--now available on Amazon & Createspace ;)), so I'm guessing that it isn't a bad way for me to work.

YMMV, of course.

JanDarby
02-11-2012, 07:55 PM
I can tell when the WRITING is right, but not so much whether the STORY is right. The former is fairly objective, but the latter is just impossibly subjective.