Author Topic: When do you stop writing  (Read 5952 times)

Offline Neghe

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 05:56:07 PM »
How do you decide it's finished?

How do you know when it is not finished...?
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline Taylor

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 06:15:33 PM »
I know it's not finished when I'm certain I can do better.

And when I feel certain I've done my best, I decide it's finished and move on to the next one.

Good questions.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Philip K. Dick

Offline ChrisHarrison

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2013, 05:32:18 AM »
How do you know when it is not finished...?

Probably because you haven't started.

Offline Neghe

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2013, 10:59:33 AM »
How can you be a writer if you can not discern when your creation is complete? I mean, that was the goal wasn't it? Presumably you began writing with the idea in mind that you were going to write a story--and a story has a beginning a middle and an end...right? And presumably you had at least a vague notion of how it was suppose to sound and feel: so if it doesn't feel right to you then either it isn't done yet, or you haven't faithfully rendered your idea into a coherent story. Which means you failed.     
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline Annmarie

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2013, 11:05:27 AM »
Or it's become something you didn't expect and you have to accept that.

I stop when the story is as close to what I wanted as I can get it. The edits become so small and nitpicky, I could stop and the story would still do what it's made to do.
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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2013, 11:46:37 AM »
I write computer programmes for my day job - I face that dilemma daily - it's never quite finished, but as stated earlier by 510vhan, if there's a deadline, something must be delivered.

A balance must be struck between pragmatic and perfect.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2013, 01:23:35 PM »
With a story, not matter the size, after what you hope will be the last edit, wait at least two weeks and read it over from start to finish.

If at that time it looks good to you, fine. This is the time to find a few beta readers. It helps to ask them some specific questions about anything you are worried about. Such as: How does the main character come across to them? Does it keep you reading to see what's next?

And alway welcome any other comment they may care to make.

When you've addressed all that and can tear your fingers from the pages or keyboard, long enough for the next step - then it's time to send your baby out into the big bad world to see if it can stand on its own.   
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2013, 04:50:42 PM »
When you're starting to change things back the way they were in a previous draft.

I experienced this once with an article for a computer magazine.  These were usually a three pass process.  Fast first draft, then check for coherence, order, and clarity, then a final check for spelling/typos.  After that they were good to go.  All with an automatic mental word count of 800 (single finished page) running in my head, because that old machine had no such facility.

This particular article was a double page spread and it confused the hell out of my conditioned reflexes.

I rewrote it six times, and, as Bonita said, the sixth draft just took me back to the first one, almost word for word apart from corrected typos.  Doing it all in one continuous sitting probably didn't help.  I know now to step aside and do something different for a while.  The magazine editor was happy with it, but I rather felt as if I'd wasted several hours of my life.  Unusual, because I rarely regret any time spent writing, even if it doesn't sell.)
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Offline LeonaIngram

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2013, 04:14:52 PM »
When do I stop writing?

1) When I've managed to fill-in all the blank spaces between point A and B.
(And that is the biggest reason why I have only managed to finish 1 book!)

2) And when I've reached my happy ending ... my happily-ever-after  ;D

3) And when it's a decent amount of pages for a printed book! (at least)

The first 2 points are important, but I tend to work on one and as soon as it irritates the living ... out of me,
I jump to the next project - and allow the one to take a break until the a generous miricale of inspiration hits me right over the head! POWW!
Or maybe that's just a Graphic Design / Illustrator thing? ... writers-block! That's the word!

Offline La Mouquette

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 03:29:18 PM »
 
When they send me the check.

Shouldn't this be 'CHEQUE' ???    :P  Ah - so it's the American spelling - I see  ;)  Cannot believe how  different our spellings are across the big pond  :o
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 10:01:07 AM by La Mouquette »
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 06:17:07 PM »
Not if you're using US English. ;)

Offline ed

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2013, 06:17:41 PM »
When do you decide it's time to stop writing that novel? You've edited, rewritten, proof read, beta read, corrected typos, errant PoVs, plot holes, tied up loose ends, crossed every i and dotted every t. But knowing that no human being can create a work of perfection you're aware that your novel is still not perfect. At what point do you say that's it, I can't go any further with this.

I believe it was STING that said "“Art is never finished, only abandoned” – Leonardo Da Vinci" Meaning, that you will always see ways you could improve but ultimately once the story is told. Let it go.

Now from my own experience. I have completed two novels ( both over 300 pages, 80,000 words each )

My goal is to tell the story ( or show for those who want to nitpick:) )

There are 2 things going on in my head

A. First and foremost to tell a good story
B. Second is to make sure the reader finishes the story

A. That is pretty simple. Bleed on the page for months and answer the question... does the protagonist get what they want or not. The end

B. Make sure that NOTHING jars the reader OUT of the story.  Once first VOMIT draft is done.  I go back through it and deal with the heavy stuff. ( Am I missing anything, does it make sense, is it believable, am i revealing things at the right time, am I allowing the reader to read between the lines and not spelling it all out ( let readers be smart ), have I avoided the dreaded deus ex machina, have I made sure there is a satisfying ending? Have I made sure the stakes continually are being raised as the book progresses? etc etc )

I then sweep back through it making sure all grammar and spelling errors are good ( I do this in PDF version as your eyes will see more in that than in the doc version )

I then sweep back through a 3rd time ( as you will miss things )

Now I could sweep again and again but now i hand it to the editor.

Once back from them

I read it completely again! Don't publish it until you do. ( your editor will miss things, no human is perfect )

I then give it to someone to format. ( I then read through it again as people who format can mess it up. I check it in Print version, mobi and epub )

Once happy. Then I get it out and MOVE ON!

Offline Neghe

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Re: When do you stop writing
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2013, 08:01:42 PM »

Hey Ed.

"making sure all grammar and spelling errors are good"

Personally, I try to make all my spelling errors exceptional myself.

;-P

“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski