Ah, yes. Music to write by.
However, while the oldest can be the squeaky wheel, he can also be mighty useful in getting the youngest to clean his room while I cook supper.
And that does NOT introduce the topic of today's post. Moving on.
A novel is not finished when the manuscript is. When I was a new newbie, I
kinda thought it was. Then I read like 3 agent blogs and submitted. I'm past being embarrassed about this.
Now I've rewritten all but one section of that same manuscript (the first seven chapters of my current ms were not in the original). And I've had my first friend (who's an actual writer) read it. The whole thing. THAT'S AMAZING. You know, to have someone else who writes READ my work! I could ask the questions I'd been dying to ask someone! Like, "Was the scene after the fire at the dance totally rushed?" "Did you get why the guy at the shelter was important?" "Do you feel the relationships between my characters were deep enough?". And then I GOT SOME FEEDBACK! And that's even more amazing. BECAUSE SOMEONE ACTUALLY TALKED BACK WHEN I BABBLED (via email) ABOUT MY STORY!!!! I loved it.
I also got specifics on what might make my story better and closer to being finished. Because even after writing, rewriting, editing, revising, editing, thickening the plot, deepening character relationships, developing plot, etc it's still NOT done!
Part of me (don't worry, erica. i KNOW better now.) really wants to start querying once I finish rewriting this last big section and then continue filling in the plot holes afterward (is it afterward or afterwards?). BUT I WON'T. I figure that's still the newbie blood in me. DON'T SEND IT UNTIL IT'S POLISHED AND READY. Soooooooo. When do you know your novel is really really finished, finito, kaput, ended, over and out, le fin, you ask? When will I know? I'LL JUST FEEL IT. (and erica will tell me so. hehe.)
You don't have to take my word for it.
Take hers. How do you know when your story is finished?
Or his. Knowing when to cut or fix crap scenes. (Well, this answers another question, but it will help you GET finished.)
Or hers. This post made me tear up a bit. Something in it made me go, Ohmygoshyes!that's right!!! ( It's in no way sad. I think I read it after having a sip of wine. Ignore me.) This post will also help you finish your novel. Or start a new one in a more organized fashion. Always speeds up the finishing process. Great post on layering both your writing process and plot.
In case you didn't go to the link above this one, you missed her link to this post on organizing your writing. This post INCLUDES tips to help you write a ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY of your novel. Hmmm.... Weren't we just talking about that? DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS LINK! How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method
Wish me luck. I have parent/teacher conferences today/tonight and I'm