Final Stretch

When are you ever done polishing?

It’s an age-old question for writers, and one to which I know the answer in my day job. I can’t really describe it — I just know it’s done, much like you know when an episode of The Simpsons is done, or a piece of toast.

But this novel thing — it’s different. I started polishing the first two scenes — again. I like it, yet I’m obsessed with getting it absolutely right. Maybe it’s a confidence thing, and once I have a few of these under my belt, I’ll naturally know when it’s done too. But until then, I think I need some feedback. No, scratch that. I’m ready for feedback.

So I started a new file today:

Novel Draft2l Final 130414.doc

I polished the first two scenes, then cut and paste them into this document. Which I won’t read again until someone else does.

Total words: 6,952. I’ve restarted the counter on the right to reflect this. Looks pathetically short after all this time. But how do you measure the progress of a novel? Word count? Time spent? Day required to generate that time spent?

In the end, I think there is a start date and an end date. Everything in between is Schrodinger’s Cat scratching to get out. (Or not scratching to get out. Depending.)

Either way, I’m officially calling this day the first day of the Final Stretch. The question I’m pondering now is, do I let people read it before I have the whole novel copy and pasted into that file?


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6 Responses to Final Stretch

  1. Hey Graham. Put the entire novel into that file. Then find an editor – a professional who doesn’t know you, to go over it. Then let your friends read it – your friends who read a lot of good books.

  2. Graham Strong says:

    Hey Both,

    Sorry for the late reply — got busy…!

    First, thanks Kelly for volunteering — I would love it if you would review. I really respect your opinions, and you’re input would mean a lot to me.

    Second, you both agree that I should find an editor and then send to friends. I’m curious to know why…? My first instinct is to send to friends first for two reasons: there are some people in particular who are bugging me to see it, which is probably the biggest reason. But also, my idea was to get feedback from friends, polish it some more, and then send to an editor. It’s been drilled into me to send your best stuff for critique, not your sub-best, so it seems natural that I’d want to send my most polished work out to the professional editor.

    Maybe I’m missing something though?


    • Kelly says:

      Hi Graham,

      I was dittoing the “get it *all* into a doc and send it” part. Somewhere. Not, necessarily, the order. Because I think at this point, rather than polishing sections again, you need to know where a reader is at with it. Could be a big leg-up on whatever polishing should or shouldn’t take place next.

      IMHO. 🙂



  3. Pingback: The Edits

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