J. Kathleen Cheney (j_cheney) wrote,
J. Kathleen Cheney

Fish or Cut Bait

There comes a time in any story's life when it's time for the author to fish or cut bait. I'd never heard this expression (El Paso isn't exactly the fishing capital of the world) until I was well out of college, but it really spoke to me.

It's something that I struggle with at times, whether from a lack of confidence or a wealth of experience. Instead of sending out a story I've slaved over for days/weeks/months, I reconsider, and tweak it a bit more, and basically spend more time preparing it to go out instead of actually sending it out.

It's a tough thing to do, to send our babies out with the understanding they might be rejected. We're worried that we're being rejected, too. That our craftsmanship is being rejected, or our style, or our taste. It's not a fun thing.

So is my novel/story perfected? Is it the best I can absolutely make it?

No, I'm afraid not.

I could just sit on that novel/story for a couple more months. I can send it through another batch of readers, looking for that one who will say "This is just perfect as it is! Don't change a thing!" (This NEVER happens, by the way, at least not to me...)

I know someone who has massaged the same novel for 14 years, paying editors to look it over, redoing it as per the suggestions. To me, that's enough of a cautionary tale.

So I've had a few readers go over it. I've made some changes based on their comments (although not all that were suggested, honestly). I've gone through and made sure I didn't use the word 'certain' too many times on the same page. By now, I'm starting to want to escape these pages....so now I know it's time.

Not more preparation, time to actually put the bait on the hook and throw it out.

Yep, that's my job for the next week.


Last night, 1K new words on the third "Iron Shoes" novella. Now that Ambergris is put away, this one really wants to be written!

ETA: This one has the truly cheesey working title of "Following the Moon". I'm so sorry about that, folks...
Tags: ambergris, iron shoes
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