In the comments of my previous post, my friend Mardra posed the question, “”When is it done?” I would like to take a guess at the answer (keyword, guess). I am working on a short story (that’s the one I keep talking about) that I had thought was done at least 5 times and with each new revision I think, “OK, this one is done,” and with each new revision my editor says, “Its not done yet Kathie.” Her notes are copious, “Bring out the reason we should care about your character. Where is this taking place? What kind of room is it? Put more emotion into the world around your character.” There are days that I’m with Mardra, “I just wish that when I want a piece to be done bad enough it will miraculously be good enough.”
As writers we all write, and re-write, and revise, and grumble, and pace, and write some more. Our own, self-inflicted pressure to make it perfect adds to the already daunting task of getting the story done and each word can be a monumental task to get onto the page. On the other hand, there are times the words flow faster than we can type and we find ourselves panting as we race to get each scene on paper before the inspiration is lost.
After all the blood, sweat, and tears have flowed into our work is there a time that we can say it is done? I feel I’m pretty solid in my answer when I say, “Maybe.” I go back to the theory that “there’s always room to improve.” I know Mardra doesn’t like that particular professor, but he does have a point. If there wasn’t room to improve there would be no reason to re-write, revise, and grumble our way to a piece of writing that might be done, one day, MAYBE.