Sunday, September 27, 2009


The other day I quit work on a novel. It feels complete, ready for another set of eyes. Almost every other time I've reached this point with a novel I ended up revising again, and I anticipate that will happen this time too. I'm not sure what makes me think the novel is at the right point to send along to a reader, maybe because when I revise it's similar to what Ron described below: wordsmithing with reverberation. And the reverberation was no longer happening, so the wordsmithing, I guess, was more accurately just dinking around. We'll see. What gauge do others use for deciding "This is it"?


  1. The dinking, I think. You can just feel it, that these changes are cosmetic, and have no real meaning beyond change for change's sake. Then it's time to ask a friend to read it.

  2. When I get so fed up with the damn book that I can't focus. Then out the door it goes.

  3. A wise Hamline faculty member once told me to wait until the story was solid in my mind before I let a critique group see it. I absolutely agree with that (thanks, MQ) - but as for one reader - a trusted reader - I think it's very comforting to let another person see a 1st draft and ask questions. I still think that the basic story needs to be there first - or it just gets too confusing and there are just too many options. But if you wait too long to let other people see the book - there's this temptation to resist change (any change).