#IWSG October: Holy Pants, I’m a co-host!!

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again when

IWSG Badge
…founded by Alex J Cavanaugh, blog about their hopes, dreams and fears. If you want to join this merry band of writers Click here to add your name to the list…
The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Susan Gourley! and ME!!!

Yes, I threw caution to the winds last month and volunteered. As you can probably tell, I’m a co-hosting virgin, so please bear with 😉

This month’s discussion prompt is When do you know your story is ready?

Now, this is where I have to confess to being a bit of a story-floozie. That next sparkly idea is always sooo attractive, so I try to rein back and consider these points:

  • Have I managed to cram in the correct word count?
  • Did I just press send too soon?

Oh – sorry – those are replies to When do you know your story is NOT ready?

Let’s start again:

  • Have I gotten rid of the first paragraph? (Yeah, that bit where she wakes up, or he walks up the garden path. You knew you didn’t really need that bit, didn’t you.)
  • Have I let someone else point out the spots that I’m blind to?
  • Have I hidden it in a drawer and pretended it isn’t there for anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of years?
  • Have I read it out loud? (In fact, I find that if you can read it out to a room full of people, it’s almost like sonar – the depth of their silence can ping back whole reams of info dump and misunderstanding).

Once you’re happy that you have finished, don’t forget that there’s still time for any authors of speculative fiction to join the Halloween Story Time Blog Hop
storytime bloghopPop on over to Juneta Key’s blog for further info and examples of previous hops if you’re interested.

If you’d rather just read all those scrummy stories then don’t forget to drop by on 27th October.

And last, but not least; if there’s any ink in your printer after all that and your muse is buzzing from all that excitement, there’s still time to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest. 5,000 – 6,000 words, deadline 1st November, with the fantasy theme of ‘Hero lost’.

Whoosh! Thank you for visiting, I’m looking forward to dropping by your blog at some point in the next day or so.

Happy Writing!

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58 Responses to #IWSG October: Holy Pants, I’m a co-host!!

  1. miladyronel says:

    I start small with the whole reading-aloud-to-an-audience: I read it to Emmett, my Rottweiler. He’ll watch me intently if he likes it, groan at the parts that he doesn’t, and howl at the horrible pieces. It’s a good place to start – at least when I’ve fixed what he didn’t like, I know that the flow of the story is better before trying it again on a human audience 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for co-hosting today! You’ll have fun, trust me.
    After having some of my books converted to audio, I really appreciate the importance of reading them out loud now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Angela. I agree, the reading out loud part is one of the best indicators the story is done. Often I forget that part, fretting instead of this or that paragraph. The readers are going to read it, why shouldn’t I do the same, only out loud to hear what they will read? Thanks for the reminder and also for co-hosting today!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for co-hosting, Angela. I remember those times when I pressed the send button too soon – immediately find two or three typos in the manuscript promptly afterwards. Live and learn!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for taking the risk and co-hosting! Reading the story out loud does help. I’ve also found that printing the entire thing out on paper and going over it that way uncovers glitches too. And deleting that 1st paragraph does tend to be a plus 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That shiny, new story idea is always so alluring! Thanks for co-hosting this month! Enjoy all the blog traffic.
    Mary at Play off the Page

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for co-hosting! I love your answer to the question about knowing when your story is not ready. That’s a much easier question to answer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lynn La Vita says:

    I embrace all of your suggestions. I especially like the read out loud recommendation. I wonder if engaging Text to Talk software would be of value. I think I’ll try it. Thanks for the audio suggestion and co-hosting IWSG this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela Wooldridge says:

      Some people recommend sending to your kindle & listening via the text to talk option there – may be a cheaper option?

      Like

  9. I definitely like to read mine out loud. That’s good advice.

    Thanks for co-hosting, Angela!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. authorcrystalcollier says:

    YES. READ THE BOOK OUT LOUD. This is one of my final editing stages, although I don’t read in front of an audience. Well, sometimes my oldest son. He’s too polite to tell me I suck though.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Diane Burton says:

    I had to laugh at your “did I press send too soon?” Been there, done that. Best wishes and thanks for co-hosting this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jen says:

    I laughed at “did I press send too soon”. Every time I submit something I think that. I have this sick feeling in my stomach that says, “You should have gone over it one…more…time!” Ah well, there will always be a “one more time”, right?

    I read my stuff out loud alone and then to my husband but it’s always short pieces or excerpts. I have never read an entire novel aloud to anyone, not even myself. Hmmm, that could make for a fun dinner party…

    Thanks for co-hosting!
    Jen

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Megan Morgan says:

    This is great advice! Also I’m thinking about taking part in the blog hop, it sounds like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You have some good things on your list. It really needs to be seen by other people before a publisher sees it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL, you’re so funny, Angela. I’m laughing with you. Your list is a mirror of mine. Thanks for co-hosting. Hope you have a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. patgarcia says:

    Thank you so much for stepping out on the water and taking that risk. I love your posting.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  17. S. M. Pace says:

    Great questions! i’m in the middle of a revision, and I’ve ended up cutting the first seven scenes, so a resounding yes to that first question 🙂 Thanks for cohosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. cleemckenzie says:

    Those are all good strategies for determining when a story’s done! I joined Juneta’s Halloween Hop and look forward to reading all of the contributions. Thanks for the great co-hosting job.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Excellent tactics! I rely a lot on my critique partners to tell me to stop nitpicking. Thanks for co-hosting today! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Good clues to done-ness. Love that ‘get rid of the first paragraph’. That has become standard for me when I feel a chapter is dragging. It almost always works.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations on Co-Hosting! **buckles seat belt**
    I probably should read the book out loud, but I’m weirdly shy about that kind of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks for being such an awesome co-host!

    Reading out loud is so important, especially when it comes to dialogue. Great tip with regard to ditching the first paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Good ideas! Thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. fenster says:

    I recently entered a contest and the moment I hit send, was certain I’d attached the wrong document. Yeah, clearly not ready.

    I’m just getting comfortable with reading out loud. It doesn’t help that the wife comes in and says, “were you talking to me?” Well, it helps me, as I then make her stay and listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I hate the putting the story away part. I really just want to worry it to death and finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Stephanie Scott says:

    Reading out loud and reading your work on an ereader are the best advices I’ve been given. Yes, I said advices which I think is wrong but I’m using it!

    Here’s my October IWSG post: Top 10 Ways to know if you’re ready to share your writing

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reading a story out loud is a huge help to me! Though I used to have a private office and now it’s an open office, so I have to be choosy about when I read it aloud.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. emaginette says:

    I’ve been working on something. I”m just not sure it will make the cut. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you for co-hosting today, Angela. Your point about reading the work aloud is an excellent suggestion. When I read an excerpt at critique group meetings, the main thing that jumps out is all the unnecessary or run-on sentences and scenes that will probably (definitely) bore the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. elsieamata says:

    Thank you for co-hosting! I’m totally guilty of either putting in way too much detail or leaving out the important stuff, you know, like emotions. Meh, who needs to know how the character is feeling, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. nancygideon says:

    Love your suggestions, Angela! You rock as a co-host!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Toi Thomas says:

    Thanks for co-hosting this month. Reading aloud is great for finding errors, but having an audience really makes the difference in comprehension and flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Lee says:

    Story-floozie totally nails it! I, too, am easily distracted by the next shiny thing. I appreciate your insights as to when the story is not ready. Thanks for co-hosting today!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Angela!
    I’m a co-host too! This is my 2nd time and I’m a bit late. You just gave me my new favorite oath: “Holy Pants!” 😀 Co-hosting is easy and a lot of fun with Alex. I enjoyed your post and I’m the WORST at pressing the button and sending air, thereby relieving the recipient of having to read ANY of my confused garble that passes for a story. YES! I will be part of the #StoryTime BlogHop. Wild Dragons couldn’t keep me away! ❤ Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  35. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    Hi, Angela! I really enjoyed your post, and I chucked over the funny way you presented the signs of being finished or not. My first paragraph always needs to go, it seems to me. I hope that you have had a lot of fun today co-hosting the IWSG! Thanks for doing it. I can get distracted too, but usually it’s by things I have to do. If I’m reorganizing the books in my library or sorting files, I know I’m avoiding that book! I have read my writing aloud in front of a room full of teachers taking a course on writing ~ absolutely terrifying; but it was amazing to feel the audience really connecting to my piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Debbie Johansson says:

    Reading it out loud is one of those pieces of advice that I don’t do too often, but I’m always distracted by the new shiny. Thanks for being a moderator this month and stopping by my blog. It’s great meeting you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Angela Wooldridge says:

    Thank you all for your comments!
    I’ve had a blast co-hosting, although I’m feeling a wee bit weary now… all that button clicking… zzz…

    Like

  38. cecelia earl says:

    Okay…I’m late, but! You’ve convinced me to read it out loud. And, one of these days I’m going to enter one of the writing contests or blog hops or something that I see posted around the blogosphere. Great job co-hosting! Christy

    Liked by 1 person

  39. J.Q. Rose says:

    Thanks for co-hosting! I discovered there’s no training to learn how to co-host when I did it in January. No Standard Operating Procedures. But heck, we’re writers, we don’t go by rules, right? Loved your list about checking your story. Besides reading aloud, I love to send my MS to my Kindle and then turn it into text to speech and listen to it. Of course the reader has no expression, but you really can pick up some awkward sentences and odd dialog. I also like to read it on my Kindle to find errors. So different from a computer screen or on paper. Guess I’d better get crackin’ on that story for this month! Thanks for the reminder.
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Have you hidden it in a drawer and pretended it wasn’t there — made me laugh. And hitting that send button is scary. Reading your story out loud is great advice. As you said, you and everyone else can hear the problems loud and clear. Thanks for co-hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Kalpanaa says:

    Thank you for co-hosting the blog hop. I love your pointers specially – have I left it in a drawer and forgotten that it;’s there. I’ve done that. But not the completed manuscript, sadly. I’ll definitely join the other blog hops you wrote about.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I write flash fiction and am often inspired when I see captivating pictures/photos that spark shiny new ideas, so I know what you mean… 🙂
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month…I hope you had loads of fun!

    Like

  43. chemistken says:

    I usually have to throw out the entire first chapter. I write my shiny ideas down on paper when they come to me, then stuff them in a drawer. I can’t even think about something else when I’m working on a story.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG!

    Like

  44. Lidy says:

    Thanks for co-hosting this month! I’ve been known to delete opening paragraphs. I came to realize I didn’t really need it, especially when it was doing more info dumping that I thought. But it’s always a long, long road to when the story is ready. And it’s a road I often go back, sideways, detour on.

    Like

  45. Deb R.H. says:

    I’ll take questions I agonize over for 300, Alex. hehe

    Thanks for co-hosting!

    Like

  46. authorcrystalcollier says:

    Hey, quick request. Can you put this blog url on your google + profile? It would make it much easier for me to find you when returning comments. =D

    Like

  47. Juneta says:

    I survived Hurricane Matthew and moving. I’m back online, wahoo! It was as bad as being without coffee. Thanks for co-hosting. You did a great job.

    Like

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