Descent of the Cows, IWSG Day, and New Round of ROW80

Desalpes, or the descent of the cows from their summer pastures to their winter pastures, is commemorated each year in our neck of the woods by a festival day in St Cergue, a village high in the Jura mountains.

We went for the first time last year -- photos here!

This year we had the new camera!




And then we came down the mountains, to a farm nearby, with cows -- and llamas!

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Our hosts' question for this month is: When do you know your story is ready?

A good question, but difficult. My editing layers tend to go like this:

Draft story longhand
Type up story, editing obvious mistakes and filling in gaps
At the same time, conduct research
Reread on paper and correct for flow and voice and information learned from research
Enter changes
At the same time, go through all my collected storywriting advice and tips and notes
Reread to apply what I've learned and flesh out descriptions, metaphors, character arcs, etc.
Enter changes, copy edit
Send to betas
Rewrite and enter changes
Work on query and synopsis, and start sending to agents

The story generally feels ready when I can't reread anymore for having memorised it and I can't see the forest for the trees.

This is the stage that all my novels are at. Most have had at least one beta read, some more, and I've worked on them here and there since then.


I can see how they could go deeper. The events, the emotions, the links between the characters' choices and the consequences. And that's the step I'm insecure about. To go back and delve deeper and cut everything open if necessary.

On the other hand, for some of the stories, it's been years since I've read them, and hopefully that distance will allow me to be as objective as necessary. Failing that, I'll send each one out to external editors and get more feedback before I buckle down and work on them...

That's sort of my goal for this round of ROW80, the last for this year. I don't want to commit, yet, as I'm not sure I'll make time for it. I've got lots of knitting related goals, a week's vacation coming up, and NaNoWriMo to prep for. I can't get enough of the heady feeling of drafting a new story! If only I could channel that emotion to edits...

Here are all the goals, anyway:
Enter changes to Druid's Moon, and submit to two chosen editors
Create list of scene ideas and questions to answer for NaNoWriMo days when I feel blocked
Finish knitting fox scarf, and maybe the shawl I started last year
Write Christmas gift and card list and stay on top of it!

Even if you're not part of ROW80, what kinds of goals do you have for the next few weeks?

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