Second Guessing


Like a poke in the eye….

Yesterday I sent my short stories out to a few beta readers.  I had already sent it to “the usual suspects”, that is two family members that do a lot of beta reading for me, but it was different sending it out to non-family-members.  So last night I took some time and started reading through the stories.  Ouch.  Of course I noticed a lot of mistakes, a lot of really rough areas, places that I thought could be written a lot better, etc.  My thought was I that I should have done one more major revision before I sent it off.

And then it got worse.  I started second guessing some of my choices for inclusion.  I had an “alpha reader” who went through all of the stories I had posted on my blog (over 200) plus about a dozen longer ones that never appeared on the blog.  She read through them twice, grading each story.  I took a couple of hours to sit with the alpha reader and made a yes/no list.  I went over the list a few times, reread everything that was on the plus side and came up with the final 36.  Yet 2 ½ months later I would read a story and think, “Why did I chose that?”

When we put our creative works out there we are putting part of ourselves on the line.  And when we do that we suddenly feel it isn’t right.  It is never right.  I just read the forward by a big name author of the reprint of one of his major works that I was starting.  It wasn’t surprising that between his “final” version and the book in my hand there were a ton of corrections and revisions, many coming after it was originally published.  It can never be perfect.

Oh, but how glaring those imperfections are when we read them!  How they stand out waving at us!

But then, I sent it to beta readers with the idea that the book is still a draft.  I can still fix glaring errors.  There is still time before the public gets their paws on it and starts writing Amazon reviews (or at least I hope they do! ;) )

So I guess there are two morals to this story.  First, the book isn’t published so I still have time to make a lot of corrections.  And two, it will never ever be perfect and even the biggest names in the field feel a cringe when they read their published works.

Oh well, back to editing ;)

17 thoughts on “Second Guessing

  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 20th of August 2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That is one good thing about having the blog – I share some much of my creative output that I’m not quite as stressed as I used to be. But then again, this book thing…. The last time I sent something out to beta readers I didn’t hear back from either. Kind of scary – what was so bad that they didn’t even say “keep your day job”?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yep. And it’s the same thing when I used to follow music forums. I hated posting things more for those times when it quickly sunk down off of the first page than for anything anybody could say.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. idiotwriter

    Problem x…
    Sometimes… as long as it is as ERROR free as possible… anstomically correct so to speak! You know, like the perspectives match in a drawing or it looks out of whack. or the shadows have the correct source of lighting ( or numerous sources the same for the subjects)…
    you will, if you carry on tooooo far beyond this, create a fucking stiff lifeless body of just objects placed together. or words… as is the instance here.
    Edit.. get rid of the errors….
    stop procrastinating… ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yep, all too true. No more procrastinating. I have sent it to beta readers and will soon send it to be edited. for spelling grammar. What do you think, if I want someone to illustrate it should I send her a copy?


  3. eloisedesousa

    I feel your pain. I still go through my books and feel the urge to re-write certain parts. At some point we have to leave the story as it stands otherwise it becomes something else, another creation born from the original. I think it’s great to make sure all errors are dealt with (I still find a few and it drives me crazy) but once that final edit is done, it’s time to step back and let your creation breathe on its own. Good luck with the process. I’m excited to read your book once it’s ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. One I commit to publishing, I may not even look at it again – I don’t want to know! Oh well, I’m sure that won’t happen, but I will try to let “my children” sink or swim on their own.

      Liked by 1 person


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