A WIP No More

Oh my God! My WIP – Guns of Perdition – is finally finished!

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And it only took 3-something years!

Ok, I’ll admit it. If I realised it was only going to take me a solid day of writing to get the damn thing finished, I’d have done it last year. But I didn’t.

Now, I could say that’s because I couldn’t find a day to do it, but you know, and I know, that’s just bull.

It’s because I was – am – terrified of what must come next. I have to let someone read it. I’ve been writing this thing for so long that it has consumed my creative energy. If it turns out it’s a big steaming pile of horse plop, I will be utterly gutted. And because I’ve been so consumed for so long, I’m too close to know if it is a big pile of horse plop.

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Oh sure, I’ve got to edit the sucker first (including an ending rewrite thanks to my tired brain slipping in a deus ex machina move), but as I’ve been doing that as I go (yes I know, that’s a no-no) it’s not such a massive task. Plus, I’m one of the only people who enjoys editing so I’m quite keen to crack into it. Plus I have lots of holidays coming up with the good opportunity within them to edit, so win, win, win.

But… someone still has to read it.

Here’s the thing. Whilst I love writing, and harbour a secret dream to one day become the next Stephen King, I am a delicate flower who can’t take criticism. At all. Even the nicest, accurate criticism still has the ability to make me wilt and crumble. It’s part of being an INFJ I think.

So dear friends… what should I do? Edit this beast then put it aside and move on to the next great adventure? Or edit it, then send it to beta readers and agents and try to get it out there. On the one hand, no crushed dreams! On the other hand, no realised dreams…

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20 thoughts on “A WIP No More

  1. My suggestion – let it rest for a few days. Then go through it lightly, and pass it along to a few trusted betas. If you write it but nobody reads it, it i s meaningless. Then see what the betas say, and take it from there. meanwhile, start working on the next one.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I agree with both Davide and Priscilla. First, distance yourself from it for a while. A few weeks. Then go back and look at it with fresh eyes. Edit the beast over and over until you have it as polished as it can be, then approach betas. Keep in mind, however, when you ask a beta for feedback, you are asking a beta for feedback. That means the good AND suggested changes. Growth only comes through learning.
    After you do all that, THEN decide what you want to do next. If you think of it all at once you’ll get too overwhelmed.

    And a HUGE CONGRATS on finishing the book. I’m toasting you with virtual bubbly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks Mae! As always, wise words. I think I was more unnerved by my ending than ‘about to chuck the whole thing in’… and on reflection, that’s just because I need to change it. Having that plan in mind, I DO feel better about letting my baby go out… now I’m just absolutely petrified of HOW to do it! That’s me, never happy, only worried.

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  3. DAVIDE MANA pretty much summed it up. You have chosen a field that is ripe for criticism. Unfortunately it is part of the game.

    Walk away for a week or two and when you return try this: Write down a handful of things in your book that will not be removed. Consider these items the foundation of your story. When you find beta readers give them the list, that way they will know what to touch and what not to touch.

    Congratulations. This is a huge ste . Now it is time for step two.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now now, you know exactly what you need to do, Jess. And learn to welcome constructive criticism. It’s the most important, most valuable, gift you will ever receive regarding your writing. Everything else about writing you have to earn, but solid constructive criticism is the best way to learn the craft and become a stronger writer. The fact that someone is willing to take the time to read your work and pull together their thoughts is amazingly wonderful. 😀

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  5. omg, Jess!! I am so happy for you that you finished your book!! I’m so proud of you too!! The act of FINISHING is HUGE!! Jess, you’ve posted a few bits a pieces of your book on your blog sometime back and from what I’ve read, it. is. FANTASTIC!! I’m also a Big Fan of your short stories. You’re incredibly talented. Jess, you’ve got this. I so agree with all of the advice you’ve received in the comments above. Give it a little rest, take a breath, then move forward girl!! If and when the time comes for you to need Beta Readers, please keep me in mind. I would be honored to read your book!! Be strong Jess, you can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Penny! I’m overwhelmed by your response. Thank you so much for the very kind words and shot of confidence. I guess we all get the ‘doubts’ and the ‘blues’ and it’s hard not to give into them at times. Blessed to have such wonderful people around me saying such things as you have. Big hugs 🤗❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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