Thursday, August 30, 2012

When is a WIP Really Finished?

I just finished my latest WIP (work-in-progress) so it really isn't a WIP anymore.

Or is it?

I have at least four completed WIPs and three that are proposals (synopsis and first three chapters of a book).

But I've learned one thing in my many years of writing and that is never give up on a WIP.

Maybe you've shopped it around to several publishers, maybe you've ignored it for several years, or maybe the market isn't right for that novel, but whatever you do keep your WIPs because you're never really finished with them until the book is published.

Pull out a WIP every once in a while and see how much you've grown as a writer and what you can do to tweak the story that would make it more publishable.

River Whispers was a novel I'd written many years before it was published. I loved the characters and really wanted to sell the book, but publishers just weren't interested. So I turned my attention to other story ideas, wrote a couple of YA time travels that sold, and then I pulled out River Whispers again.

Right away I could see what many of the problems were in that book. There's a lot to be said for letting your work sit for a while. A week, a month, or even a couple of years can really make a difference in your writing skills and the critical eye with which you read your own work. I'm very grateful that I never gave up on that story because I eventually sold it. And look what a beautiful book it became.

Sometimes when I pull up an old story on the computer and start reading I wonder what in the world I was thinking. Sometimes I've found flat characters or characters so over the top that they are unbelievable or worse, uninteresting. And then sometimes I've found huge holes in the plot. Yikes! I'm very glad that I can now take out some of my old WIPs and work on them. My stories are like old friends just waiting for me to get reacquainted and help them grow into better books.

How many WIPs do you have waiting for your attention? Do you work on more than one at a time? Have you been surprised sometimes by how much you've grown when you've taken another look at your old story/friend?



Photobucket

8 comments:

  1. So ture! I've got too many on the go and some are just plain bad! I just finished one though and am getting ready to submit t omy agent. I guess its not a wip anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! It always feels so good to finished. For me a book is a wip until it goes to print. After that, there's nothing you can do. :)

      Delete
  2. I have several waiting for my attention, and it's really nice to go back to them when I get stuck on something else. Back and forth, back and forth doesn't sound very progressive, but it works with a WIP. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean with the back and forth. Eventually you see progress, but some days it seems to take forever. Best of luck!

      Delete
  3. I have a WIP I wrote six or seven years ago. As soon as I finish my current project, my plan is to revise it and get it out there to the reading public (which will probably mean pubbing it myself, but I'm happy with that for this particular book).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one of those too. I've been dithering about what to do with it because I really want to get it out there. I'm still thinking it over. But I have to do something and soon.

      Delete
  4. I have at least 3 completed WIP's that are sitting around waiting for me to pay attention to them again. I also have two WIP's that I am working hard at getting to that point. I have one under consideration with a publisher and about 1000 ideas in a note book waiting to crawl out of the dark.
    There's one, just one, that is such a good idea I had to put it away until my ability to write it would do justice to the concept. It's still waiting. One day...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! I have several I'm still working on as well, so you're not alone. Never give up!

      Delete

Linkwithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails