Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG - I'm at Alex's and Joylene's!

How can it be? I'm in three places at once. I'm not only here, I'm over at Alex's talking about a dungeon that plays a small but important part in my book The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands. But wait! I'm also visiting with Joylene Butler where you can learn what St. John was like in 1962. Hope you'll stop by and say hello. 

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Posting the first Wednesday of every month, The Insecure Writer's Support Groupis  the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate. 

Let's give our co-hosts  a warm welcome! 
Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!



This month's question is: When do you know your story is ready? 

Which is a good question considering how long it took me to write and "finish" The Bowl and the Stone. I can't tell you how many times I changed the POV and tense, deleted chapters, and changed the ending. Still, I wonder if it's done, if it's right. I think every writer could tweak and edit and revise and tweak some more FOR. EV. ER. *says to self* Have I made all the corrections I can make? Are all my commas in the right places? Could I use a better word in this sentence? How about a new sentence entirely? (On and on and on.)

But at some point (a point only you can decide) we MUST stop or we'll never write anything else.

Here's a bit of advice from Neil Gaiman. "The best advice I can give on this is, once it's done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you're ready, pick it up and read it, as if you've never read it before. If there are things you aren't satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that's revision."

See you at Alex's and Joylene's!

50 comments:

  1. I bet the Bowl and the Stone is just fine and as polished as possible.
    Happy to host you today!

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    1. Well, there are still a few minor mistakes in it... a missing period, an extra word. But for the most part it's about as good as I can get it.

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  2. Yes, putting a manuscript away for awhile can be a great to see the mistakes. I do that all the time.

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    1. Indeed, I wrote the first draft of The Bowl and the Stone something like 10 years ago. It sat for a long time. When I took it out I was pretty much appalled at how bad it was! :D

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  3. Good advice from the master Neil Gaiman. Congrats on completing your book and it published. It sounds intriguing!!!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  4. It does go on and on and on. At some point, we have to call it quits.

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  5. Good luck with the Bowl and the Stone, Bish. A very wise quote from Gaiman. Look forward to seeing you over at mine very soon.

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    1. I'm looking forward to being on your blog!

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  6. Even being an editor...with an editor, I could edit forever, too. It really could be never ending.

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    1. Unfortunately it's not like baking a cake!

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  7. Gaiman is such a wise man. I love his 8 rules of writing. Number 6 especially applies here:

    Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

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  8. That 'read it with fresh eyes' really works. I have one book I've been writing for 20 years and use that 'fresh eyes' approach often.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who can take a long time working on a story!

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  9. It's that passion for perfection that makes me thrilled to be in the company of like-minded writers. Congratulations, Bish, on your new book. Thrilled for you!!!

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    1. It's good to know we don't have to work in isolation!

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  10. Your are one serious multi-tasker! And your answer is just good common sense.

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  11. Your are one serious multi-tasker! And your answer is just good common sense.

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    1. Multi-tasking is a lie. No matter how hard I try I can only type one letter at a time. :D

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  12. It's hard to put something away when I just want to finish it, but that is great advice.

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    1. I've found it to be the best thing I can do. And even in between edits. I get so close I can't see a thing. Time helps.

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  13. Great advice from a writing great. Lots of good things said today about finding the finish point.

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    1. And, it still seems it's up to each of us individually to know or sense when that point has arrived.

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  14. Neil's words were just the thing. Thanks, Bish!

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  15. I agree on drawing a line in the sand at some point - you just have to move on! And great Neil quote. He's so fantastic.

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    1. So true, Alexia. As hard as it can be, on simply has to let go and move on.

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  16. Gaiman is right. Writing needs some distance before you could see it with fresh eyes.

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    1. Yup. I've be doing it for years, long before I knew about Neil.

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  17. Yes, that break for fresh eyes is essential.

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  18. That's an epic quote. If only deadlines would allow for us to put that kind of space between project, eh? ;)

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    1. If you're working with a deadline, that would make it harder, for sure.

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  19. Hi, Bish! I read about your new book in Alex's and Jolene's posts, and it certainly sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing some of what you went through revising and editing your book, right down to the commas, sentences, and words. The Neil Gaiman quote was excellent, and it's a practice I try to follow. All the best with your book!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Fundy Blue. I hope you stop by some of the other blogs I'll be visiting!

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  20. Hello,
    Yes, indeed. The point of when it is a finished book is a personal, gut wrenching decision that only the writer can make. Love your advice from Gaiman.
    All the best with your book also.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. You're right, Pat. It is a hard personal decision.

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  21. Gosh Bish your head must be in a whirl – respect to you for getting so much done. I’m off to visit the other blogs now.

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    1. It is spinning a bit. But I'm enjoying the merry-go-round!

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  22. Hi Bish - good to see you over with Alex ... and I like Neil Gaiman's thought process ... makes so much sense. Good luck with the tour ... cheers Hilary

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    1. It was nice to be at Alex's. So many lovely people and comments!

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  23. After reading through a ms until I'm sick of it and it's been set aside, I always find a mistake or 2 or 5. LOL It's a good thing I have a great editor. See you on my blog in 2 weeks.

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    1. Diane, It's the getting sick of it that makes working on a MS so hard. I'm not sure that there's such a thing as perfect. I'm excited to visiting with you!

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  24. Unsurprisingly, I agree with Gaiman! I'm a big fan of letting a story rest in a drawer for a while. Once I'm not as parental about it, I'm much better at figuring out how best to change (or not change) it.

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  25. Great advice from Gaiman. I've found that I work and worry over a story and get sick of it, with some time I have found I can fall in love all over again and that's a good thing.

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  26. Ditto on the great advice comment! It is, and so true. You do have to walk away to see it as new!
    Have fun on your tour! See you on the 21st!

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