Wednesday, 2 June 2021

IWSG June 2021

 As we enter what looks like a great summer here in the Northern Hemisphere (with hopefully a little more freedom), one thing we can all rely on is that the first Wednesday of the month will be our meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Led as ever by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the purpose of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's excellent co-hosts are J. Lenni DornerSarah FosterNatalie AguirreLee Lowery and Rachna Chhabria.


Let's have a look at this month's IWSG question: For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

This is quite interesting. Although I haven't kept records of how long this has been for every book, for my current WIP, I was keen to get it out to CPs to gain feedback on certain matters. I think I left it a few days before giving it a quick reread to tie up some inconsistencies. The response was that the story was good but perhaps slightly undercooked. There might be a lesson to be learned there.

The second part of the question has me thinking. Perhaps there might be a danger after having written a number of books/stories that you do not need to give it so much time to "marinate," especially if you want to keep up to a release schedule. Instead it might be better to think of each book as your first, worthy of just as much care and attention as your early outings. After all, every book is different and will have different demands. It's not a production line. I'm interested to read others' answers to this!


This year's IWSG anthology contest is open!

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Sweet Romance

Theme: First Love

Submissions accepted: 
May 7 - September 1, 2021

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. You must belong to at least one aspect of the IWSG to enter.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

See more details here. And, don't forget to check out more entries for this month's meeting here.

27 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - you've lots of experience and I can imagine you're productive. Getting the loose ends tied up before you send out to beta readers makes sense - yet we all need creative input. All the best with your stories ... cheers and enjoy an easier summer ... bright and sunny down here too - Hilary

Liza said...

My sense is that very experienced authors may know a bit sooner when they have to let things marinate more, or when its time to let a book out into the world. Like everything, the more practice you have, the better, and perhaps quicker you may become. I agree that every book needs the same care and attention. That said, experienced folks may be able to conduct that care and attention at a quicker pace.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think you're right that different books are different in what they need revision-wise. Not sticking to a firm rule sounds like a good one. Certainly, the process is different for someone who has never published and can take as long as they want to revise than for someone who has a publishing contract and a deadline to submit to their publisher.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a production line - good motto to have.

Leigh Caron said...

We may not be born with the editing instinct, but I believe we develop it the more we write. CPs and Beta readers though are a must

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm definitely a fan of marinating stories for a while. My brain needs the break to See it!

Michelle Wallace said...

Think of each story as your first: that's the best perspective!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

"It's not a production line" so true. I think some established authors feel pressure to get another book out there too soon. It all takes times, and lots of marinade!

cleemckenzie said...

Editing is certainly a variable in this business of writing.

Marie Andreas said...

I have found that my marinating time has decreased the more books I get out. But, I also work on more than one at a time, so I might be pre-marinating...sorta ;). Nice post!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I never pay attention to how long I let a story sit. It can be anywhere from a day to months to years.

P.J. MacLayne said...

I think I pay more attention to my later books than my earlier ones. I know more about what mistakes I make, and have learned mew ways to make each story sparkle.

Lee Lowery said...

Definitely not a production line. We've all read those kinds of books.

For me, each project is different in terms of revision. Non-fiction is easier, probably because I control the narrative. Fictional characters think they run the show.

Melissa said...

It's true. We get faster the more books we write. That said, time and distance can help a story, even a good one. I guess the real task is learning to determine when it's polished enough.

Liz A. said...

Sure, you want to give your books all the time they need, but when you've got fans, they want books as soon as you can get them out. I think as we write more and more, we get better at it, so perhaps later books actually do need less time to "marinate".

Sarah Foster said...

Writing should definitely not be a production line! I tend to work on my stories until I'm out of ways to fix it before I find someone to read it.

Shannon Lawrence said...

It's probably a good idea to always treat a new book like the previous ones and give it time. By the time I finish the current WIP, the beginning will have sat there for quite some time, LOL.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I like this advice :)
There is no substitute for time.

A Hundred Quills said...

That's a wonderful way of putting it. Treat every book like its your first.

kjmckendry said...

I think your right that each book will demand different amounts of time between writing and editing but I love the thought that maybe sometimes experience makes us too quick to get into editing, interesting idea!
Kathy--Imagine Today

Tara Tyler said...

Good advice!
And thanks for giving Dark Matter a shout w/CD’s submission advice — also good stuff.

Lastly, thanks for reminding me to post about the new anthology contest—I almost forgot!

You’re a good writer friend =)

Tara Tyler Talks

Loni Townsend said...

I've sent out and pulled back my book too many times with my current WIP. I just want it to be done!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Hi Nick! I agree with you about "better to think of each book as your first, worthy of just as much care and attention" as your first stories. Every book or story requires attention to be sure what you think is in the story is actually in the story.

Thanks so much for sharing your insight with your followers. Have a great weekend!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nick. I think books definitely need to marinade, but as someone above said, the more they write the less they need to marinade. That said, I'd be cozy with leaving a new draft for weeks rather than months. I keep more than one book on the go, so I'd be in danger of forgetting where I was going...

H.R. Sinclair said...

Undercooked, I like that term for that sorta not quite done -- ah, see what I did there! 😂

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thank you Nick for revealing your writing, editing and publishing process. Even though we often strive for perfection, sometimes, our writing is just not out there at the right time or place … the many pitfalls and missed opportunities, may be discouraging and rejection hard to fathom. But this group of bloggers enables up to keep on trying whatever the outcome. Thanks for your hard work sifting through the Anthologies year after year and sometimes making difficult choices.
You are always an inspiration and radiate hope for the underdogs of this solitary writing craft of ours. Take care and a fulfilling summer writing.
Susan, former New Yorker, British and French National, from across the pond in France.

Deniz Bevan said...

I wonder about that non-marinating danger, too. I'm always in awe of self-published authors who release a new book every few months!