Seriously, how did it become October? If one of you responds, “one day at a time…”
I’ll shake my fist. Yeah, shake it.
It is also the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is time once again for the monthly blog hop of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I say it every month, but people, if you write, you know you get insecure. Join us. Feel better about your writer self.
I’ve decided to break with tradition and actually write about the suggested question. Also, I gave the answer some actual thought. Frightening, I know. It is so not like me to prepare. The subversive in me isn’t ready for this sort of compliance.
The October question-
When do you know your story is ready?
Two things come to mind when I think on this. First, when do I know the text I’ve written is ready to be read by others. Second, when do I feel like the story idea is ready to be composed.
I know the story is ready to be read by others (non beta readers) when I’ve edited, and edited, and edited, and edited, and finally, feel like any errors or flaws are cosmetic. Trusting my beta readers is essential as well. If I have addressed their comments and suggestions, then I’m more confident. There is always part of me that argues the story is never ready, but that is either arrogance or foolishness (both?). No text will every be perfect. Instead, I strive for clean. If it reads/looks clean, and the story flows nicely, I’m more comfortable sharing it.
As for when I feel the story is ready to be written, that is a bit more complicated. I’ve just started writing my 4th novel, and had a few ideas/story lines brewing about in my head. Two were equally intriguing, and as October approached, I struggled to choose one over the other. I rarely outline. It gets in the way, takes me out of my creative space and (for me) makes my writing feel rigid. If something comes along that threatens to alter the outline, I resist it, which makes for bad writing. Instead, I prefer to have a general idea of where I want to end up, then let the story dictate its own path towards that conclusion.
With only two days until I was set to begin writing, I still had not decided. Both ideas, nebulous as they were, offered distinct and different challenges. They excited me equally. They both felt necessary. It was a comfort to have multiple ideas to choose between. For me, that is rare.
I sat down at the computer on Monday, still unsure what I would do. Finally, I took a deep breath and typed a first sentence. That was the moment. The name that appeared, the setting in which the just created *she* found herself, revealed the idea I had chosen.
The story rolls about in my head. It changes over and over, sometimes ending up discarded, or altered, but it is in there. As soon as the first sentence is on the page, that is when I know the story is ready.
Exciting stuff, right? Now, tell me when you know your story is ready.
Also, I went to the dentist today and my teeth feel weird.