Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Insecure Writers: When to type "The End"

I should start another support group for writers like me, who can't stop revising. I go through multiple revisions before sending work to crit partners, and afterward, at least another two or three rounds. But I never feel like a story's completely finished. Even after subbing it, I can't help revising again.

I have so many other projects I want to work on, but constant revisions slow me down.

I actually just pulled a sub - one I was invited to submit - because the story didn't feel complete, and the sub call limited the word count to 15k. In the end, I don't think I'll regret it, though I had the feeling it was a slam dunk. *sigh*

Does anyone else have this problem? Or am I taking perfectionism too far?

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for launching the Insecure Writers Support Group! Hop on over to the other authors' posts. It's wonderful to lend support to fellow authors.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm such a perfectionist, it often feels like I am revising to death. When I realize that my revisions have come full circle and I've rewritten something back to its first draft form, then I know I am done.

Stephen Tremp said...

Stephen King said he only does three or four revisions. That's my goal. To get it down to three or four max.

Cate Masters said...

If the basic instinct is solid, it'll shine through, Alex. :)

Great goal. I think I'll shoot for that, too, Stephen. Gotta silence that inner critic at some point.

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

I am the same way and will play with the words forever- however, having an awesome co-author to bounce things off of really takes off the pressure. When we agree that the sentence or chapter is as good as we can make it- then we move on. It is great to have someone else's opinion, especially someone you trust. Great post, thanks! ~ Jess

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I would be better at doing less revising if I didn't find mistakes everytime I read through my work.
I think you put out lots of new stuff all the time. How much faster can you go?

Cate Masters said...

Maybe I need a writing partner, Jess. It would be nice to have someone else decide! :)

Susan, my head is exploding with stories. Seriously, I wish someone would invent a USB port to insert into writers' skulls, to download onto the computer. So much faster, lol.

Clay said...

I have been waiting for the USB interface for my brain for a while now. Can't wait till it arrives! :P

There is some good advice here. I am fresh in these parts and I have nothing substantial to revise yet. I will definitely take the advice of limiting to 4 revisions or at least giving that inner critic some discipline. Good luck with it all. Cheers.

Sherry Gloag said...

There was a time when I could write from start to finish without doing a single edit/revision. Sadly those days are long gone :-( I've swung right (or should that be 'write') the other way these days, and it's a pain. I have ideas in my head, and sometimes even on file, and the constant retracking just gets in the way of the 'flow'. Glad to know I'm not on my own.

C.M.Brown said...

Revisions, I think it depends a lot on what mood you are in on the days you revise. Whether you are happy or sad, angry or not, relaxed or tensed up. All our moods reflect on how we write and revise.

I hope I am making myself clear, what I mean is the end result changes, depending on the mood you are in when you revise work or write new work.

I suppose it depends also on the individual, what mood suits the style they are looking for in their work. Every detail is really a personal experience.

Cate Masters said...

I'd love for an inventor to make that USB device, Clay. :) Happy writing!

I'm sure it's a common writer's affliction, Sherry. Maybe it's time to form that group. We could make it the Margarita Friday group, lol

I actually try not to let my moods influence me, Carolyn. Writing's a world I love to escape in!

Ciara said...

Revisions are so tough because you never want to stop. At some point we have to release it. I usually edit until my editor yells that she needs the round back.