Pull hair out.
Pull hair out.
How do you know when your book is finished?
I spent some time on this question posted yesterday by Rachelle Gardner on her website, www.rachellegardner.com. So far, I think I’ve done all she mentioned list above. I have written. I have edited. I have set aside the work to concentrate on another work. I have gone back to that work and reread. I have cringed at my mistakes, and I have done some rewriting.
I’ve pulled hairs out also. Beards actually.
Yet I don’t know if my book is finished.
The writing process comes easily to me. My fingers speed over my keyboard as I type in the words and my brain would start wishing my fingers could go faster. I hardly encounter those writer’s blocks except when I’m writing some description scenes. If I do encounter them, I create art in another form.
Rewriting, on the other hand is tougher. Here I am wearing two hats: the creator hat and the editor hat. Here I slain my misused words, including those phrases or sentence constructions I thought were awesome. I am hard on my characters. I cut short unnecessary dialogues. I make sure they stick to their traits, unless when they do something I cannot even stop them from doing. Sometimes they become unpredictable.
The rewriting process sometimes might be tricky. Sometimes I cut off sentences that needed no cutting at all. Other times I add sentences that are not relevant at all.
I just started a second rewrite of my book, The Road Taken, a YA, Urban Fantasy set in the Southeastern part of Nigeria. The book is part of a trilogy I hope to publish. I’m done with writing the second book and I’m writing the final book in the series. To balance my work and time, I write the final book in the morning – I’m more creative in the morning. Then I do the rewriting of The Road Taken in the evening or before I go to bed.
‘No man is an Island’
I love this quote by John Donne. It reminds me that I'm not alone in this world, and that other people are there to help. I know the importance of a Critique group, but finding one here in Nigeria is very hard. I’ve had only two friends who’ve looked over my work and given me good feedback. But then I always feel like it isn’t enough.
Six weeks ago I joined critters.org, an online critique group. It’s a dedicated site with dedicated writers, including published writers. I have found the site helpful because when I analyze other people’s work, it helps me in identifying the problems with my work.
I received some critiques few weeks ago on a piece I had written. One of the critters did a very good analysis of my work, which made me remember the saying; ‘No man is an Island’
No man is an Island indeed.
Why that saying?
I had always looked at that piece with pride. But reading that critique on my work humbled me. I couldn’t help but wonder how to know when my book is really finished.
Let me know your thoughts on this. How do you know when your book is finished?
Remain creative and have a nice weekend, guys.