Close to Finishing Your Book? Guest Post by Professional Editor, Susan Uttendorfsky…

Maybe you’re saying, “I don’t know! How will I know when it’s finished?” Here’s one way to tell…

Remember when your book was so cute and tiny? You loved it and couldn’t wait to spend every minute with it. Thoughts of it filled your days and nights. Every new achievement was cause for celebration—“It’s now 20,000 words!” or “I’m halfway done writing the first draft!” If you’re in this stage, your book is still an infant. It’s not finished.

Then things got hard and the newness wore off. The first draft was finished, and sometimes when you looked at sections, you beamed with pride. But most of it still had the literary equivalent of sticky fingers and muddy jeans and gum in its hair. When asked how it was coming, you mumbled, “Leave me alone” or “Shut up.” If you’re in this stage, your book is like a nine-year-old child. It’s not finished.

Now you’ve finished your fifth, tenth, or fifteenth revision. Friends and family don’t even ask about it anymore. Other people who’ve read it swear it’s wonderful, but you’re not so sure. After all, you’ve spent all this time—and money—fighting with it. And despite beta reader and editor claims of maturity, it argues with you incessantly, shoves its rough spots in your face, and seems to cause more problems than it’s worth.

Plus, there’s a new “baby” in your life. And this new idea is so cute and tiny…

This is the adolescence of your book. One day you get to the point where you scream, “IT’S FINISHED!!”

Yep. You’re finished.

So how close are you to being finished?

To see the Index of all 64 of Susan’s Editing 101 episodes, click HERE




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20 thoughts on “Close to Finishing Your Book? Guest Post by Professional Editor, Susan Uttendorfsky…

  1. Susan.. well you have done it again, what an excellent clever and humourous way to draw us in to your excellent advice columns and so timely for those who are finishing a new novel… especially those finishing a first novel… It is so tempting to think it is done at the draft stage and scrimp on the essential crossing of the eyes (sorry i-s) and t-s. And at the end of the day it is those very details that can turn something reasonably good into something immortal that will convert readers to salivating fans! Px

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the “ages and stages” view of a WIP, Susan. My WIP is a teenager, but growing up quickly. Over the years, I developed a methodology to my drafts, and once I get through all the steps, the adult-child WIP gets booted out of the house. 😀

    Liked by 2 people


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