Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My First Blogfest Insecurity / IWSG + Halloween Giveaway




UPDATE!

The word count range has been changed. It is now 3,000 - 6,000 words. We're hoping this will help writers who write shorter stories. So what are you waiting for? Write, write, write, and enter the contest! :D

More info on the theme, etc. can be found here: Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!



The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


October's Question: When do you know your story is ready?

Before I begin writing a story, I know exactly how I want it to end. Once I write that scene and have a good final sentence, I know it's finished. Clarification: I don't write the end first. I just know how the story will end when I begin writing.

Editing is another matter. I restrict my editing rounds to three. First, I do it on paper. Second, on my kindle. Third, I read it backwards paragraph by paragraph. Then I give it to a couple of beta readers one at a time. After each, I apply changes based on their notes. My final round of editing happens before I send it to my publisher. That's when I officially know it's ready. If I don't release it then, I could end up editing it forever.


November's Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?
*Add this question and your answer to your November IWSG post.


***
BLOGFEST ANNOUNCEMENT!


Prompt: If I were a Mobster…
When? October 21st, 2016 
*If you need to, you can post the day after.
Where? On your blog!

Post Ideas: I’m giving you creative freedom to create anything that comes to mind for the prompt: If I were a Mobster. You can share a poem or flash fiction piece about what you imagine yourself doing if you were a mobster.

Or share a detailed profile of your mobster self. This is what I’ll be doing.

Here’s an example of a mobster profile you can fill out:

My Mobster Name:
My Rank: (leader or minion)
Crime Zone: (city/state)
My Look/Disguise:
Weapon of Choice:
Mobster Vehicle:
What I’m Known For:
My Catch Phrase:
The Name of my Mob Leader:

Get in touch with your bad side. ;)

NOTE: Every post will include the blurb, cover art, and links for 30 Seconds Before, which I'll send to all the participants.


Sign Up Linky List: 
(click the blue link below and submit the requested info)


***
HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY!


These dudes are hard to take pictures of because they keep moving! :P

a Rafflecopter giveaway

113 comments:

  1. Typing THE END is exhilarating. Editing is a whole other story. It could take months or years until we think it's ready. That's where those CPs and beta readers come in. They will tell you when it's ready!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typing THE END is the best part but opens the flood gates it...editing.

      Delete
  2. Love those Halloween guys! What a fun giveaway. You have so much going on! I know your blogfest will be a big hit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I go over my stuff dozens of times and still think it needs more work in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a new one on me... writing the end first, but I suppose it makes sense.Looking forward to the blogfest.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't write the end first, but I know the end when I begin writing.

      Delete
  5. I like that idea of reading backwards as part of the editing process. I bet that's a good way to catch things you wouldn't normally see reading it front to back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned that one from Kelly Hashway. It really helps you to clean up your sentences.

      Delete
  6. I never thought about reading it backwards - interesting!

    Sometimes I know the actual ending of my stories/novels, but sometimes it's more that I know the feeling I want the ending - and the reader - to have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really helps to fix up sentences.

      Having a feeling is a good way to know what the ending needs to accomplish.

      Delete
  7. Backwards? I would be so confused...
    Chrys, I'll mention your blogfest on Monday. Sorry I missed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's from paragraph to paragraph, so you can follow a little bit. :)

      Thanks, Alex! That would be awesome.

      Delete
  8. I know exactly how I want it to end too, so great when you get there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the very early days of my writing I actually believed the first draft was the final draft! Learning that isn't how it works was a real challenge!

    The idea of reading a story backwards in very interesting to me. It would be jarring enough to make me see mistakes I might not otherwise see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I first started, I had the same misconception. I think more new writers do.

      It truly does help you to find messy sentences.

      Delete
  10. Love your post. Very succinct. Looking forward to your blog hop. It will go well. I have confidence in you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your blogfest sounds like so much fun! I already signed up for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tricia! I can't wait for it. :)

      Delete
  12. You know, I too know how my book is going to end before I start writing. Funny because I usually read the last chapter of a book first before I start at the first chapter.
    All the best.
    Shalom gleichem,
    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You read the ends of books? *gasp* lol Sometimes, I find myself wanting to skip ahead t scan what happens next because the plot is that good. Doing that makes me want to read faster and get to the other good part I found. ;)

      Delete
  13. I love your answer to the question. I have a hard time knowing when I'm done editing. Perhaps I should do as you, limit myself to three. After that, what more can I edit? I have to stop trying to be a perfectionist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to limit myself or else I'd never stop or be confident in it.

      Delete
  14. Three rounds? That's it? Nobody even sees my work until its on at least the 3rd draft. And only one reader sees it before the 5th draft. When I'm working fast, it's typically an 8 draft system. (6 & 7 to beta readers/CPs, and 8 to my editor.) Maybe that's why it takes me so long, but it's the only way I could be happy with everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. I do three rounds with myself then I go to betas and then have several rounds with my editor. That's how I stay sane. 8 DRAFTS? I couldn't do that. I think I;d hate my story by then. LOL

      Delete
  15. I currently feel as though I'll be editing forever. I do a paper and a Kindle edit, too. Amazing how much you'll find when you change the way you look at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Changing the way we look at it really helps. I've also made the font bigger and changed the color.

      Delete
  16. I put trust in my CPs to know when a story is ready. Otherwise I could be nitpicking it forever! :) Awesome giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writers are great nitpickers. ;)

      Thanks!

      Delete
  17. When I began my career, I used to write 22 drafts. Book #2 was 7. Book #3 was 3. I'm getting better, but it's never an easy decision. I drive my husband crazy because my confidence isn't the best it should be. One day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 22 drafts? Wow. I'd drive myself nuts doing that.

      One day, indeed. You'll get there. :)

      Delete
  18. Hi Chrys - I can quite see the logic in writing up the end of story first ... so you can visualise where your journey is going to ... so easy to trip off on another track.

    Cheers and good luck with your blog fest - it'll be fine ... Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I don't write it first, but I know what it is when I begin

      Thanks!

      Delete
  19. So far, my favourite thing about being a writer is the friendship groups I've made - especially due to finding and joining IWSG! The encouragement and the very nature of writers - sharing and inspiring others - is next to none.
    Thanks for another great newsletter this month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The friendships with other writers are sure special.

      You're welcome! :D

      Delete
  20. Chrys, I just signed up for the BlogHop. Looks like fun. I'll put the badge on my blog this morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I can't wait to see what you cone up with. :)

      Delete
  21. Having a revision limit sounds like an excellent idea! I always read the story backwards - at least once. It's amazing how many errors pop up ;-) While writing the ending first does help the organization, sometimes I just love letting the story unfold as I go. Thanks for sharing some wonderful tips, Chrys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL I don't actually write the end first. I just know the end. :)

      Delete
  22. You always have great ideas Chrys. Like I said in my own IWSG post, there comes a point where all you have left is nitpicking and you definitely need to stop there. This instant. If you want to get your book/story out into the world.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Crazy, in my head I think I know how the story will end, but my characters tend to have different ideas when I actually start writing. LOL. One day I'll actually learn how to plan/plot out a novel instead of just winging it.

    The blogfest sounds fun. And good luck with the giveaway. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just winging it can be fun, though. :)

      Thank you!

      Delete
  24. Knowing how the story ends is pretty essential... and yet I don't always know! I've been trying to make a point to, but it's mostly a sketchy idea.

    Here's my October IWSG post: Top 10 Ways to know if you're ready to share your writing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A sketchy idea is a good start, though.

      Delete
  25. I'm curious, have you ever written that final scene and thought, wait, that isn't the end? Once, I was sure a book was going to end a specific way, then when I got there found that didn't feel right. It was such an odd sensation. I thought I was done with the draft, then wasn't. It took me almost three weeks to open the document again, I was so confused. There is a happy ending, as I the ending is now much better than my original idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never written the final scene ahead of time. But usually the final scene is exactly as it should be because that is my end goal.

      Delete
  26. I have some 'literary' writer friends (anti-genre) who try to get me to outline less. They believe that outlining stifles creative flow and adulterates the voice. As a mystery writer I have to outline, a lot. I have outlines for my outlines! There's no wrong write to write a story. It's why I love it! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to outline. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to write. ;)

      Delete
  27. Knowing the ending is half the battle--I make sure to know the ending before I start a story or else it'll never end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. That's why I always think of the ending first. :)

      Delete
  28. I won't enter your giveaway because I won last year. I love my darling little ghost necklace, and I thank you again.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I appreciate that. ;) You're very welcome!

      Delete
  29. Back in the day, when I still printed the manuscript out, I'd mix up the order to do edits. Love the working backward idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mixing up the order is an interesting idea.

      Delete
  30. I generally know the ending too, though there are frequently unexpected twists and turns along the way to getting there, deviations from my notes and outline. It's one thing to have a story planned out well in advance, but when it's actually being assembled on paper, some things might no longer come together exactly the way you envisioned before they were reality (so to speak). Some things also might no longer work with the people these characters have evolved into since the first book in a series, so pivotal plot events need different motivations and outcomes. For example, if I'd strictly stuck to my years-old notes for my second Russian historical, my female lead's black moment near the end would've been so out of character. When I came up with the sequel, and years later finally made notes for it, I only knew her as she was for most of the first book, not as the mature, settled, mostly psychologically healed woman she'd grown into. Thus, her black moment became even blacker, and it gave the villain a chance to be even more villainous. It was something done to her when she wasn't in control of all her senses, not something she willingly embarked upon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Changing things along the way is perfectly acceptable, even with a detailed outline. I still change things if I get a better idea or my story shifts.

      Delete
  31. Great approach to the edits. Kudos.
    Those giveaways are soooo cute:)
    I'm looking forward to the Mobster Tour:)

    ReplyDelete
  32. "I read it backwards paragraph by paragraph." -- I'm going to have to try this. I bet it would be easier for me to spot typos or grammatical errors this way.

    Those giveaway are cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It helps me to spot messy sentences and errors.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  33. I always know how my short stories will end, and I write to that ending. When I begin a novel, I only know the characters’ inner conflicts. I have no idea where the story end up. I think that’s why I find writing novels so much more exciting than writing shorts.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How you write short stories is how I write novels, but with an outline, of course.

      Delete
  34. That's a really great system.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I could never do all my revisions in three rounds. I'm closer to ten or more. Oops, is my...? hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I didn't restrict myself, I would do ten or more rounds.

      Delete
  36. I know exactly how I want each book of my trilogy to end, so maybe that's why I'm not too upset about my annoying characters taking me there via their own routes. I'll aim for the destination, and do my best to enjoy the ride they provide.

    I've never heard of anyone reading their manuscript BACKWARDS as a final edit. Very interesting. I do pick up on a lot of minor errors by reading it on the Kindle, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoying the ride is the best thing you can do. :)

      Delete
  37. I like your editing process. Keeps things under control I imagine. I can't put a limit on my editing though, unless there is a firm deadline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to limit myself or I edit too much.

      Delete
  38. That's interesting. I always know the ending, too, before I finish the story. I've never tried editing backward. That's a new idea. I'll have to try that and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, try it. You might be surprised.

      Delete
  39. Love your editing style! I might have to adopt a version of that to stop the endless tinkering! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Interesting methods! They're so different from how I work, lol. I always tend to have a couple of endings in mind, and sometimes it even changes during edits. I guess I'm more indecisive than you are! :-) But everyone works differently, eh? Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone certainly does work differently. ;)

      Delete
    2. Kelsie, your website won't let me comment. It thinks I'm a bot. :(

      Delete
  41. Knowing the ending of your story is such a boon. I envy you. I never know the endings of my stories, only the beginnings. That's why I'm often stumped right in the middle. Some stories of mine take years before the ending is clear to me.
    I'm tempted by you blog fest. Maybe I'll participate, if I can come up with an appropriate post. I've never imagined myself as a mobster before. It might be good for my writing juices to try something so out of my comfort zone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'd be able to do any writing if I didn't know the ending.

      Yes, join. It'll be fun. It can definitely get your creative juices flowing. :D

      Delete
  42. That is a really good process. I'm going to have to think about something similar.
    Anne from annehiga.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. You've got the process covered. I plan on putting my current manuscript aside when I'm done with the first draft, for maybe a couple of months. I've never really done that before but I think it will help. I'm going to take my time in editing it too. I think it will help with perspective.

    Man, I used to do all the blogfests, but I just don't have time anymore. Someday I'll do it again. I kinda miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put finished first drafts aside, too, but usually 2 weeks up to one month.

      That's okay. I know that I missed on many this year and last year.

      Delete
  44. Mostly I know I'm done when the deadline rises.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Just like you, I don't start my story until I know how it ends.

    As far as editing goes, it seems like you've got a routine all set up that works for you. It would be a miracle if I could go over my manuscript just three times and end up with a quality product. My hat's off to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's important that we all have an editing process that works for us.

      Delete
  46. I would say most of my writing is done with a beginning and ending already in mind. However there are a few pieces (Xenophobia for one) that are just so freeflowing that it's as much an adventure for me as it is for the readers. haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those freeflowing moments are the best.

      Delete
  47. Perhaps that's where I'm getting it wrong: I rarely know the end of a story until I get there, or if I do, by the time I get there, I realise it wasn't the ending I thought I needed ;)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Chrys, your editing process sounds effective. Do you use a pro editor as well? I find I sometimes have to go back to my original copy to garner the raw feel of the story. Too much editing tends to kill the original vibe of the story or the flow. It's a tough process! I don't ever know the ending before I begin.
    Great share today :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just use the editor through my publisher after I get a contract.

      Delete
  49. You write your ending first then write your way back to it. What a great idea. Do you ever change the ending?
    Great answer to the IWSG question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't write the ending first. I just know it. And it doesn't change because the end I have in mind is my end goal. :)

      Delete
  50. I thought I was the only one who edited backwards. It is like getting a car out of a rut: the only way forward is back ... at least at first. Your blogfest will do just fine, for you are super-creative. Best of luck with it. I will be there! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Editing backwards is a good strategy.

      Thanks, Roland!

      Delete
  51. Heh, with how much I pants my writing, knowing the ending is a wonder. At least you have limits on revising! I hope your blogfest is a success, even though I can't participate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That can make writing interesting, though.

      Thanks, Loni!

      Delete
  52. Oh those toys are so cute, Chrys! I have no idea where you find this stuff.

    I love reading your blog. It's so comforting to me, like chatting with a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw. I like to hear that. Next year, I hope it'll read more like you're chatting with a friend. :)

      Delete
  53. What a unique way to share your work! Ingenious! I'll be hosting Bish on the 21st but let me see if I can come up with something for the 24th. I'll let you know and sign up here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yolanda! Sure, you can post on the 24th. The other participants probably won't be able to visit you at a later date as they'll be hopping around on the 21st, but those in our blogging circle will see your post then. And I'd love to read about mobster you. ;)

      Delete
  54. WOW, read it backwards? That's cool. I wish I had a clear succinct plan like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I crafted my plan after a few books when I realized I needed a plan. lol

      Delete
  55. This is a unique way to do your editing...reading it backwards. I guess it gives you an idea if it is coherent.....inlike that. I am guilty of reading the last page first..or almost first. I like to know the end and that gives me a thrill on how it gets there. This blog hop sounds quite neat.....maybe.....I'll try...we shall see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't read the last page, but I do skip ahead to see what'll happen next.

      I'd love it if you did participate. :D

      Delete
  56. Ooh, interesting approach to read it backwards - I bet it helps you catch a lot.

    ReplyDelete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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