Friday, November 8, 2013

When Do You Know When Your Novel is Finished?

Good morning! It's a beautiful day in West Virginia! The sun is out, it's a bit breezy and although it's partially cloudy, I'm enjoying my morning. The day could be better, but I'll take the sun peeking through the clouds any day. It rained all day yesterday, so I'll take partly cloudy.

Yeah, I've got ideas about what the "perfect" day looks like, but I'll take what is given to me. What choice do I have, any way? Today is what it is. I'll take it. Hey, I woke up. That is good enough for me.

I'm accepting about many things that happen and have happened in my life. I believe in going with the flow and finding the silver lining in every situation, no matter how difficult it may be or feel like. If my house feels cold and I realize that raising the temperature will result in a huge gas bill, I put on another layer and thank God that I have a roof over my head. It's all about how you look at things.

The only situation that I refuse to settle on, however, is my novel. Yes, the manuscript is finished and I've had my novel professionally edited, but is it really finished? I can't answer that question this morning.

I'm asked this question all the time--"Is your book finished?" I usually answer, "Yes and no" to which I get confused looks. Yes, I've written a book and it's saved on my laptop and I have a physical copy of the manuscript sitting on my dining room table. So, yes. But, every time I buy another how to write a novel book...I second guess myself which opens the door for self-doubt and worry. Is my book really finished? I hate reading a book and finding a typo. It makes me so sad for the author!

I know many writers who experience this. I've also had this experience in painting. When do you know when you're really finished with a work of art? It's a tough one! Maybe...

you know you're finished when you've read and reread your book and don't find any typos.
you know you're finished when you've exhausted every known avenue of editing.
you know you're finished when you've written the best book you know how to write.
you know you're finished when you've handed your manuscript to a couple of readers and  they don't find anything.
you know you're finished when you just can't bear reading your novel one more time!

I was at that sweet spot until I bought yet another book on editing last week. Crap. No more! I'm reading this LAST book on how to write a breakout novel and no more how-to books!!

My book, A Decent Woman, is ready and when I'm asked if my book is finished, I shall ask the person to cover their ears and I shall yell, "Hell, yes!!" 

Happy weekend to you all :)

Ellie






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