Stories that Matter

Writing

How Do You Know When It's Good?

I’ve just finished my fourth full length novel. One that will be sent to my agent. Soon. I never have a problem writing the books. I always tend to go over my word count and need to do a fair amount of trimming. I’m getting better at this, and for this particular story, I managed…
Read More

Meet Author Nike Chillemi!

Who are you? As most of us are, I’m a number of things. I’m a wife, mother, animal lover, fiction writer, and Christ follower…not necessarily in that order. I’ve been a foster mother and am now the adoptive mom of a fascinating fifteen year old young woman. I’m an urban dweller who loves the ocean…
Read More

Ooops, I Did It Again…

Ever have one of those moments where you react before thinking? I do. A lot. And a lot of the time, I do it online. Something pricks and burrows deep under my skin and I react, slapping it away like a wasp who dared bite me.  I want retaliation for that particular bite. I might…
Read More

Introducing Author Sherrie Hansen Decker!

It’s my pleasure to have romance author Sherrie Hansen Decker on the blog today!   Who Are You? … a very complicated question that requires a complex answer. Twenty years ago, I bought a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa so I could move home and be nearer my extended family (nieces and nephews, because…
Read More

Meet Lena Nelson Dooley!

Meeting and chatting with Lena for the first time is like reuniting with an old friend. Seriously. She makes you feel like you’ve known each other forever! And her writing is pretty amazing too, so if you don’t yet know this wonderful author, hang out a while and then go check out her books! It…
Read More

Titanic – Legacy of Betrayal – Paula Moldenhauer and Kathleen Kovach

This book was AWESOME! I’m so excited to have these two wonderful ladies to interview on the blog today! Kathy Kovach                 Paula Moldenhauer   First of all, I have to say, I LOVED this book! I’m a sucker for history, and I loved the way you wove…
Read More

Guest Author, Peggy Blann Phifer!

How many writers, if any, have ever had a work in progress (WIP) for, oh, twenty years? When I go through my file drawer and see all the partial drafts, critiques, contest entries and subsequent losses . . . makes me wonder why I persisted. The easy answer is I’m stubborn. Tenacious. Hate to quit. …
Read More

Meet Author Deborah Raney!

If I start talking about this amazing author, I won’t be able to stop. I’m sure most of you reading this have read at least ONE of Deb’s wonderful novels. I remember reading A Vow To Cherish many years ago, and thought, wow, so this is what this Christian fiction stuff is all about. I can…
Read More

Celebrating Life's Little Victories…

While it is hard to believe this picture was taken over a year ago, I still smile when I look at it. Because, if you can’t really figure it out, that’s me, signing a copy of my book, Yesterday’s Tomorrow. My book. For a “wannabe published” author, I have to say, yes, it’s everything you…
Read More

Meet Author Elizabeth Musser!

I’m thrilled to have best-selling author Elizabeth Musser with us today! I read The Swan House  a while ago, and was completely captivated by Elizabeth’s writing. If you haven’t yet read any of Elizabeth’s books, you’re in for a treat! Let’s learn a little more about her today… Who Are You?  Bonjour!  I’m Elizabeth Musser, a…
Read More

The Next Best Step

March 25, 2019 | 2 Comments

The one sure thing about life, the one thing you can pretty much count on, is that it won’t always be easy. You know this. You’ve already been through some tough stuff. And you’ve survived. Maybe even triumphed. But then it all comes back for a second round. Or a third. Maybe you’re getting hit…

read more...

Write, Straight Up

May 7, 2018 | 3 Comments

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…

read more...

Family Matters

October 28, 2016 | 9 Comments

I grew up an only child. As much as I was loved and probably (okay, definitely) spoiled by my parents, I think part of me missed not having a sibling. There were times when it was lonely. Times when I had to use my imagination to create the extra people I thought I needed in…

read more...

Fun Friday Five!

June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Answering five questions from my readers today! Want to get in on the fun? Send me a question and I’ll answer it next time!

read more...

So My Mom Wrote A Book…

June 14, 2016 | 15 Comments

Hey, everybody! This is Noah. (I’m the adorably handsome dog in the picture). I’m hijacking my mom’s blog today, because, quite frankly, enough is enough.  I’m used to getting all the attention around here, seriously, and lately? Well, my mom wrote this book. And it’s getting AAAAALLLLLL the attention. That’s my Mom. That’s her book.…

read more...

And This Is Why The Words Matter …

May 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

So I wrote a piece about Guarding The Writer’s Heart – and it’s true. It’s tough out there. You’re going to get criticism no matter what. It’s just a given. Kinda like running for President. But not. And we won’t go there. But you know . . . this year so far . . .…

read more...

Remember When?

April 4, 2016 | 20 Comments

How many conversations start with that question? Probably more than we remember. Yet it’s an immediate pull back into the past, back to an event or shared memory that somehow binds people together, often whether they like it or not. The biggest events in history have turned strangers into friends. V-Day. The assassination of JFK.…

read more...

Conversation in A Coffee Shop

February 18, 2016 | 7 Comments

I see her there. This sad reflection of myself. Sitting. Alone. Alone only with her thoughts and the icon flashing fierce on the blank screen. Cautiously I slide into the seat opposite her. Offer coffee. And a smile of recognition. “Hello, writer.” She looks up, bleary eyed. Befuddled. “How did you know?” The question sighs…

read more...

Why Do The Words Matter?

January 19, 2016 | 23 Comments

There will be those who simply refuse what you’re giving. They will scorn, belittle and reject. And okay, sure, that might hurt. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

read more...

More Coffee … Need

January 11, 2016 | 1 Comment

Yeah, okay. But it’s Monday morning and I just spent two hours working on changing up this blog, and five minutes ago I sat staring at this screen in full out panic mode, thinking I’d just deleted the ENTIRE THING!! So I need more coffee. Because this is pretty much me in the morning. And,…

read more...

How Do You Know When It's Good?

I’ve just finished my fourth full length novel. One that will be sent to my agent.

Soon.

I never have a problem writing the books. I always tend to go over my word count and need to do a fair amount of trimming. I’m getting better at this, and for this particular story, I managed to stay around the projected word count I had set for this project.

I never have a problem coming up with storylines, interesting characters or settings. And somehow it all seems to come together to make what I think is a good book.

But how do I know?

I am my own worst critic. I’m fortunate to have several people I rely on for opinions once I’ve finished a book, and I have some wonderful critique partners to help me along the way. But as we all know, this is a subjective business. We don’t always all agree on what works and what doesn’t. So it’s difficult, at this point, staring at a manuscript that says THE END, to know whether it truly is the end.

Do I go back in and search for scenes that could be stronger? Take out more extraneous words, tighten and tweak again and again, or do I simply trust myself?

This is where it gets tough. I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I don’t really know if what I’ve written is good enough. Just because I like it doesn’t mean my agent will. And, as I have learned, just because an agent likes it, doesn’t mean a publisher will.

And so it goes.

Have you reached this point in your career? Are you still plagued with self-doubt, finger hovering over the send button? Or do you know when what you’ve written is good enough to send out? If you do, how? What qualifies as ‘finished’ in your mind?

I’d love to know your thoughts. Meanwhile, maybe I’ll go look at that manuscript one more time.

Posted in ,