Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Boiling Eggs, Birthdays, and Book Giveaways

How is boiling and egg like writing a story?

You get the water boiling, pop a few eggs in, and set a timer, right? Easy as that. But what if your timer wasn't reliable? What if time wasn't steady? What if your egg ended up in a metaphysical bubble?

The IWSG question this month is:

When do you know your story is ready?

This is easy to answer: YOU DON'T.

No matter how long you've worked, how many times you've rewritten a book, or how optimistic you feel about a story, there is never a solid "THIS IS PERFECT, THIS IS DONE" moment. (Ten years after a book is published, most authors cringe at their own work.)

However, there are a few ways to discern a story MIGHT be ready...enough.

1. Beta readers. A variety of them--and I'm not talking about Mom or your best friend. I'm talking about people who are in the industry and regularly tear apart their own work. Yes, you actually have to let people read your work, AND you have to listen to what they say. It doesn't mean everything is valid or even worth listening to, but you have to be able to take a step back and weigh it like it is.

2. If you aren't up against publishing deadlines, time is a great test. If you can step away from a project for 6 months, a year, two years, and you come back and are blown away by it, it might be ready.

3. Querying. (Terrifying, right?) If you query 30 agents who rep your genre with a sample and don't get a single nibble, it may be that your writing needs a little more work. (This test works with short stories too.)

4. Hire a professional editor. And I'm not talking a line editor. I'm talking a developmental editor. They will strike at the heart of the story and find any underlying elements that aren't working. (What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, eh?)

How do you know if that egg is boiled? You crack it open and slice it to the core. As painful as that sounds, it's only way to know an egg is done.



Speaking of being done... *deep breath* TIMELESS is out to advanced readers and reviews are starting to trickle in. (This is the most terrifying time for an author, btw--the real proof that the book was ready.)

AND today is my



To celebrate, I'm hosting myself for a truth or lie game today. (WHAT!?!) That's right. This will be one of the ONLY chances to win an eBook of TIMELESS. (No kidding.) Actually, I'm giving my entire series away to one lucky winner. (Provided they don't already have half the series. Then I'll have to supplement with another cool prize.)


Releases November 1, 2016


TIME IS THE ENEMY.

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?


Here's my two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an eBook of THE MAIDEN OF TIME SERIES. (Open internationally.)

You have until Tuesday, October 11 at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on October 12, 8 a.m. EDT when there will be another giveaway from our very own Roland Yeomans!
TRUTH OR LIE

1. My first draft of Timeless was 42,000 words long. (150 pages.) Of those original 42,000, only about 10,000 survived to the final draft (85,000 words). (How's that for insight into the process?)
2. One of the main characters in my Maiden of Time series, Kiren, has been with me since 1994. That makes him his approximate physical age in the series (22).
3. I hate cheese.

This is the LAST CALL to sign up for the blog tour of TIMELESS(Nov 1-21.)
So sleuths, which is the lie? How do you decide when a story is done? What do you do to celebrate birthdays? (Leave me some cheese in the comments, eh?)

174 comments:

  1. I cringed when I was allowed to go back and make adjustments to my first book and it wasn't even ten years ago.
    Happy birthday! I'm guessing you don't like cheese.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My publisher gave me that chance too. It was terrifying. =)

      Thank you!

      Delete
  2. Well, I think we all know that #3 isn't the lie. I'm going to go with #1 as being the lie. Happy, happy birthday!

    Cheers - Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL I've never been blown away by anything I've written.

    Happy birthday. My guess is #2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! Actually, there was once I was blown away by something I wrote. I submitted it to a certain contest. And got published in a certain anthology. ;)

      Delete
  4. I refuse to look at anything that I've published. Won't read it again. *covers eyes* Nope.
    Happy Birthday! And here's wishing you tons of cheese...(because that 3rd statement about you hating cheese is totally off)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good way to be.

      LOL. You totally know me.

      Delete
  5. Good tips! Was just thinking along the same lines the other day regarding an article. You can tweak it forever, it seems.

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You totally can. As long as the underlying message is there, sometimes you just have to let go, eh?

      Delete
  6. Super post, Crystal. You can edit a story to death. You can second guess yourself. You can kill a project by working on it so much. Hard to let go, but you must. Happy Birthday to another Libra. #3 is a lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No project killing! You seem quite certain about that lie. LOL!

      Delete
  7. Happy Birthday, and congrats on all your success. I think its VERY important to hire an editor to help you develop your story and get to the heart of it. Looking forward to reading your books!
    Mary at Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! A great post Crystal. Wishing you a lovely day and much success throughout the next year!! I think #2 is the lie.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Haha I think I'm safe in picking #3 as the lie. I feel really confident this month!
    Happy, happy birthday to you!!! Love the egg/story analogy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! There has to be a gimme every now and then, eh? ;)

      Delete
  10. Happy Birthday!!!! Have a great day!!! I pick lie #1

    I never read my books after they're published. UGH!! I totally agree about hiring a professional editor!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathrina, that's a wise practice. We should all follow your example.

      Delete
  11. Happy Birthday, Crystal! You are absolutely right, we can never really know for certain when a story is finished, because... a story can ALWAYS be tweeked.

    #3 is definitely the lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always. Ugh. I wish there was a magic point where it just couldn't be touched anymore, know what I mean? Oh wait! When it's in print. LOL.

      Delete
  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I hope you have a blast.

    I think all of us are pretty much answering the same way with this question. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it would be pretty easy, but I'm starting to scratch my had at some responses.

      Delete
  13. Happy Birthday! October birthdays are so awesome. (I speak from personal experience.) It's the best time of the year.

    P.S. I'm pretty sure I signed up for your blog tour, but if I didn't, please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did, you just didn't tell me what kind of feature you want or the date.

      Delete
  14. Happy Birthday, Crystal! And yeh for October birthdays! :)

    Good luck on all the incoming reviews - fingers crossed for you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Crystal ,
    Great suggestions. A good critique partner or group and a professional editor make a world of difference when deciding whether your book is finished.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true. Having other pros say it's ready is SUPER validating, eh?

      Delete
  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! :) *gifts box of assorted exotic cheese*

    We're always growing as writers, so it makes sense that we would find some things cringeworthy later. I like to call things done when they start driving me crazy. Or because it's August and I declared hands off by then. :) It helps me move on mentally.

    Okie, this is hard...I know it's not #3 - Lol! - but I half feel like #1 applies to Moonless, so I'm going with that. *throws answer out and runs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Thank you for the cheeses!! Happy times.

      Delete
  17. I agree with you. There is no perfect time when you say "I'm done." Not signing up for your blog tour, but would be glad to shout out in follower news if you e-mail me the info.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Crystal - Happy Birthday and hope you have the best selection of cheese you could wish for ... #2 is the lie ...

    I enjoyed my birthdays in South Africa - warm days (or hot) ... here it's too cold in January ... but they're always good - I get treats! Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hilary! Nothing better than the cheeses. =)

      Delete
  19. Happy, happy birthday! We share a birthday. :) Are you having a cheesecake? Hehehe! My son and hubby are going to make me a triple chocolate cake later today. Mmmm!

    #3 is definitely the lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm. No, no cheesecake. Instead, I had angel food cake with fresh berries. (Yes, we eat cake for breakfast around here.)

      Delete
  20. I can't look at my first book. I know I'll want to change anything, so I leave it on a high shelf where I can see the pretty, pretty cover but can't crack it open to see what's inside.

    Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Can't believe you hate cheese! I'm going to say that's a lie. Cheese is cheesy, yes, but it's good for you. And it tastes wonderful... depending on what cheese, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, you're brilliant. You've totally got this figured out.

      Delete
  22. Happy birthday!!!! Hope you're doing really fun things and eating lots of sugary food! After following you for a while, I'm going to say that number three is the lie ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Liar Liar Pants on Fire! You and cheese are inseparable. Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! We totally are, especially when it's in my stomach. =)

      Delete
  24. Happy Birthday Crystal!!! Yes, your checkpoints for doneness are spot on. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy Birthday!

    The lie is #3. We all know you love cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy Birthday!

    The lie is #3. We all know you love cheese!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I was trying to make it easy. Everyone's a winner today. =)

      Delete
  27. So, this whole love of cheese has just been a front? Hiding your true love just to seem cool? Let me guess...is it really broccoli?

    I'm starting to read today. I'm so excited!! I have already unofficially skimmed the prologue and chapter one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm so excited.

      (What? How can one fake a love for cheese. That's just insane.)

      Delete
  28. Great tips about telling when your work is ready. Finding people who are honest with you is definitely key.
    I'm guessing #2 is the lie. It can't be 3. :)
    Happy, Happy Book Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they aren't honest with you, they don't care about your success. Period.

      Delete
  29. Whelp, that does it. I'm more insecure now than ever. Oh, the hyperbole I spill. I loved reading this post. It spoke to things I think I already knew, and made me think of things I had missed (like the developmental editor). Thanks much, and happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, these were just potential guidelines, not set in stone.

      Delete
    2. Of course. I like guidelines better than rules.

      Delete
  30. I can definitely see the similarities.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yep, my stories are never done - but as soon as I submit, or they're published, I can move on. Before that, I'm a serial tinkerer :-)

    Happy birthday! I'll say your lie is #2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I thought you were going to say serial killer...like of words or something. Oh boy. My brain is wired.

      Delete
    2. LOL! You just made me cough on my wine! :-)

      Delete
  32. When I can't find anything to change other than individual words or phrases here and there, it's ready for the next step -- whether that's sending it to a beta reader, or my agent, or to my editor.

    ReplyDelete
  33. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it is your cheesiest yet. Second, I am glad you wrote what you did about the importance of using *qualified* beta readers. Makes all the difference. And Third, if you really are giving away the full set of books (in print? *PANTING*) please consider me your best choice for a weiner --er, winner. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I am giving away a full set, and it will be run on a randomizer as to who wins--just to be fair. But I should give you all three books, right? *checks bank account* *comes back pale* Erm, yes, I should... ;)

      Delete
  34. I love your analogy! I know my betas and the major workshop I took after I thought it was done really showed up the flaws of the MS I'm querying. Happy writing...and polishing to each of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you take your work to industry experts, they'll always find something, right?

      Delete
  35. Yay! Happy Birthday, Crystal. Sending you lots of cheese cake!
    Some great advice and I love the analogy. I going to say #2 is the lie :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I totally agree! You don't know; other people need to be let into your story to tell you. And a few more and then the pros. :)

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

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happy Birthday! Once I published Pearl, that was it. I'll have to read it for a story I'm planning on writing soon--sort of a companion, sequel thing to it--and I know I'll cringe. But that's part of writing life.

    #3 is the lie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally. Wishing you sunny colored glasses while you read.

      Delete
  38. Happy birthday Crystal!! πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽπŸŽ‚πŸŒΈ
    Hope you've had a cheese-filed day πŸ˜€ One day I'll have to make a cheesecake for you 🍰
    So... #3 is the lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be amazing. Guess that means I'd better start saving my pennies to come visit, eh?

      Delete
  39. Happy Birthday, Crystal!!! Duh! You LOVE cheese! So much so that I often think of you when I'm at a gorgeous, yummy cheese counter. My question is, "How do you find beta readers and developmental editors??? I'm reading the answer to October's question in the IWSG Go Round, and I'm cringing at how third grade elementary teacher my response was. I guess that comes from working for decades with young writers. But those basics better be in place before your story hits Beta readers! I do have a problem with alliteration ~ LOL Enjoy your IWSG Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Aw, now I feel flattered.

      Beta readers are a tricky thing. There are critique partners who can be found at conferences, workshops, through blogging, in Facebook groups, Goodreads groups, etc. It takes some flirtation, some trying each other out to figure out if you're a good match. Beta readers are easier. There's less pressure. You just have to ask people to read for you. The worst they can say is "no," so if you go in expecting that, asking isn't as big a deal. I've asked fellow authors, friends from Facebook groups, blogging friends, family members, etc. The beauty is that once you have a group of people who like your writing, the circle grows so you continue to have a widening range of choices.

      Developmental editors are trickier. Always look for recommendations from authors or friends whom you 1. trust, or 2. whose work you admire and respect. Often a really great critique partner can perform the same function as a developmental editor, but you have to understand that these people make it their business to focus only on the core building stones of story, so they'll have the greatest insight. If you land a publisher, the editor they put on your book should have this skill.

      P.S. Your response was awesome! I loved the range of responses today. We need that variety for people who are at all different stages.

      Delete
  40. Best lie ever, LOL :)
    I'm in the middle of edits. I'm ready to be done. Does that count?
    I didn't think so :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending cheese. The manuscript will be shiny again soon!

      Delete
  41. Happy Birthday, Crystal!!!! So glad we get to celebrate your birthday with you!!

    I signed up for your blog tour! I'm excited to host the Doppelganger Personality Test. :)

    Well, I know #3 is false! Clearly, #3 is the lie!! Lol.

    And thanks for your comment on my blog. You're absolutely right—the book launch IS only the beginning. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you, Kristin!

      It's so easy to get fixed on one major event--to the point where we can't see what's coming over the next rise. We all do it, right?

      Delete
  42. Great tips for knowing when a story is done! Especially the step back for a bit one. And Happy Birthday!!! Enjoy the cheese we all know you'll be having. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, I think we live in an age when we expect everything to be instant, thus making patience near impossible, but writer MUST have it with their work.

      Delete
  43. Great tips for knowing when a story is done! Especially the step back for a bit one. And Happy Birthday!!! Enjoy the cheese we all know you'll be having. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I like my boiled egg yolk a little soft. Awkward. Anyway writing is a different journey for all of us. #3 is clearly a lie from the pit of hell. But if there is some kind of trick answer like you used to hate cheese, then I'm sunk. But I'll stick with #3 and see. Loads of swiss cheese for you Crystal. Also maybe nudge your hubby to buy some extra pizzas with cheese? Anyway Happy Birthday!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! There are no tricks here. *shows empty sleeves* See?

      Delete
  45. Happy Birthday :)

    Great thoughts on the process of knowing when it's ready enough.

    And woot!! Yay for upcoming book release. :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Happy Cake Day to you!! I hope you have an awesome day today! I think listening to the critiques was the hardest for me. People saying "bad" things about my writing when it was really for my own improvement. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They just sound "bad" because you're on the defensive. Once you break into that impartial "tell me all the bad so I can make it AWESOME" stage, you'll be set. (Honestly, that's how I feel while editing.)

      Delete
  47. Happy birthday!

    Not sure I can get behind the egg analogy given I have to constantly boil them at the day job and I can't cut into them to check. It takes about 10 minutes on a full boil. Or you can bring it to a boil, turn it off and put a lid on it and the heat will cook the eggs that way. That's what I usually do at work because then it's okay if I don't get to them right away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to bring up bad memories. =( Pretend it's burrito, not an egg. There you go. A cheesy, cheesy burrito. Mmm.

      Delete
  48. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Let me guess... you're having cheesecake, right?

    Boy, if only all of the lie-detecting choices were as easy as this one. #3 is the lie. The only thing you hate about cheese is running out of it... :)

    The cover of your new book is beyond gorgeous. It award-worthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! You know me too well. Aw! I'm going to show my cover designer your comment.

      Delete
  49. Happy birthday! You can spin an egg like a top and if it stands up in an upright position it is done. I made the perfect soft-boiled egg this past weekend. Put the egg in cold water and bring to a rolling boil, then remove it from the stove for 5 1/2 minutes. Immediately douse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel and eat!

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I was watching a video yesterday about soft boiling an egg in plastic wrap. Weird. Still, it made me want to try it.

      Delete
  50. #3 is definitely the lie!

    Happy, happy birthday, beautiful lady!!! I hope you have a fantabulous day filled with cheese! :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Happy birthday, young lady. I know you loooove cheese. I'm going with the first as the lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks. Cheese is epic. What can I say?

      Delete
  52. Wait, is this a trick? #3 is the lie! I will say, it makes me feel better that your first draft was so short. I'm having the too short issue with my novel right now, and looking at what threads need to be expanded upon or added. It's out to beta readers so I can see what they think I did not cover, but I already have ideas for what I think would add to the story (not just buffer the word count).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine suffered from split plot identity. As in there were two completely different plots woven together. That 45k doesn't include the 30K of the secondary plot that I stripped out. Then I had to build the plot again from almost scratch. Ouch. Let me tell you, I'll never be doing that again. =)

      Delete
  53. Happy Birthday! I agree that beta readers and a trusted editor are a huge help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I never would have stepped out the door without them.

      Delete
  54. Hap hap Happy birthday!
    Watch out for those metaphysical bubbles ;)
    I love your tips on knowing when your story might be close to ready.
    Good luck with those reviews.. Eeeek!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton, Lynda. Those metaphysical bubbles do scary things--I know. They tend to pop up way too frequently when the scientists locked in my basement get creative.

      Delete
  55. Happy Birthday.
    You hate cheese? Queue hysterical laughter. There is no world and no time continium where that is anything but a bare faced lie.
    Love your heart hearted (but accurate) hints. Tough love at its finest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Well I didn't want it to be difficult, but some people are questioning. Maybe I haven't been quite vocal enough, eh? ;)

      Delete
  56. I like your list. Personally, I've had a hard time finding a good critique partner, so I may have to go directly to a trusted editor.

    You newest release sounds interesting, actually the whole series intrigues me, SO, I'm gonna take a stab at your trust vs. lie. I just can't believe you hate cheese. THAT must be the lie.

    Hope yu have a great BD, love the GIF.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Thank you! It's been a wonderful day. I went through 4 or 5 Critique partners before finding one that stuck. These days I have a good ten people I could throw in that category. Don't be worried. Your circle will grow organically as you get out there.

      Delete
  57. Happy birthday.
    You have a great checklist for the readiness of your story.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I know for a fact you LOVE cheese (as do I), so that's the lie!! And yes, having CPs is how I tell if a story is ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?!? How would we do this without our writing buddies?

      Delete
  59. Happy, happy birthday - Hope you have a cheesy great time!

    Learning to trust myself to get things done and out there. It's a slooooooow process! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely understand. It took me a long, long time too. Try entering a contest, eh? It may boost your confidence and help you get there sooner.

      Delete
  60. I hope you had a wonderful birthday Crystal. Great post! Love the egg and all your tips. I am guessing number 2 is the lie :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Happy birthday. I hope it's filled with cake. And cheese.

    Lie... Hmmm... Let me think about this. I don't know. I think I'll go with #3???

    I do want to host you on Unicorn Bell, but I'm not sure when my week is. I'll have to figure that out and get back to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Do it. I would absolutely love to come hang out on Unicorn Bell. =) You rock, Liz.

      Delete
  62. Well, number three is obviously the lie.

    I'm excited to hear your first draft was only 42K. My current one was around 45K. It had tons of world building needed and a lot of holes where I put 'they get into an argument' so I should get it up to scratch but it's daunting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I TOTALLY know. Gosh, I rewrote this book 3 times, and that was going into it with a solid outline. Man! Sometimes you really have to work at a story.

      Delete
  63. Hm... I tried posting before but it didn't work, I don't think. So sorry if I'm double commenting! Happy birthday! And I think we all know you LOVE cheese! Totally agree with you on when a ms is "ready" and had a very similar response to this month's IWSG question. Congrats to you again on completing your amazing series! Christy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christy! I don't think your other comment went through for whatever reason. Weird. Oh no--that was it. You posted on last week's post. I do remember that! Anyhow, I need to get to your place. I was too busy birthdaying. =)

      Delete
  64. I over boiled the eggs last night - it shouldn't be that difficult1 aargh!
    Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  65. YOU hate cheese like I hate cheese. Total lie:) If you don't have CPs, def hire an editor. And as for those nibbles from agents, if you aren't getting some, you aren't done! So true!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Spot on--those are great steps to take. I've gotten invaluable advice from agents I queried who thought my work was close but not enough. Their suggestions were invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll second that. Truthfully though, I got more and better advice from CPs.

      Delete
  67. I like your egg analogy. I think you're right. You never really know when a book is ready. But your tips on things that mean it might be ready are right on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do your best until you can find proof, eh?

      Delete
  68. #3, you do not hate cheese!!! LOL, the thought is ridiculous.

    Loved your egg analogy and you were spot on with your answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I'm glad it's obvious to some. People who are second guessing it have me worried.

      Delete
  69. Happy birthday! What a fine day on which to meet you. And like you, I trust wise beta readers to help figure out when a story is close to ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, John! Welcome to my place. Great to meet you!

      Delete
  70. Happy belated birthday! I hope you did something more fun than simply writing this post and commenting on blogs … and stressing about reviews! Eek! Can't even imagine what that must be like!

    Totally agree with you on the egg analogy. And you offer some great insight on how to figure out if a story is done. Did you practice any of these things when deciding if Timeless was finished?

    On a similar note, gotta be #3. No one dislikes cheese. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! YES, I totally went to Universal Studios and ate at a fabulous restaurant and played Pokemon Go with my littles.

      With Timeless, I knew when it was ready. I've done this enough times, but my final screening process was a grouping of CPs who gave it the green light. And my publisher putting a stamp of approval on it.

      Delete
  71. Happy birthday!!!!! I hope you consumed massive amounts of cheese in celebration. :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Nice egg analogy! Perfect! Congrats on your upcoming release. I'll be glad to post or tweet something! Best to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so sweet! Thank you. Cheese for you.

      Delete
  73. For the part about querying, it may simply be that the query letters don't please the editors. Not all good authors write great query letters.

    I would guess #3 is the lie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's true, but I think most editors at least look at the first page of writing. I mean, with it being so easy to send samples these days... At least from everything I've heard on the other side, they do look at the sample--even if the query doesn't grab them immediately.

      Delete
  74. I hope you had a fantastic birthday! And #3 is totally the lie, unless you've been lying to us the entire time!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Love that old birthday cheese shot:) As for an egg, I sometimes feel more like I'm the frog in hot water;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Larger presses tend to add a little more pressure. :)

      Delete
  76. I think number 3 is the lie. Who could hate cheese? Oh wait. My sister. That's who. Happy, happy birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  77. happy birthday! i'm a libra too!

    ReplyDelete
  78. I agree with your answer regarding how to tell when a book is done. Well said!

    Happy birthday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. Lol this is the EASIEST truth and lie game EVER. #3's the lie. Unless you're always giving away cheese because you don't like it yourself... ;-)

    Happy birthday! May God bless you this year and may there be many more years and blessings to come. x

    ReplyDelete
  80. Fantastic points.. I find CPs and editors really help me know when it's time to stop working on my manuscript.

    ReplyDelete
  81. What great advice! So true that getting in those first reviews is a nail biting time. Wishing you the best of luck!

    The lie- 3. What a generous giveaway!

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday! Enjoy!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  82. Happy belated birthday! We hope it was full of cheesy goodness (no way you hate cheese).

    Sometimes you also just have to be willing to step away from a rotten egg. If you keep boiling it and it only gets worse, sometimes the best solution is to move onto a new egg. Nothing good comes from re-boiling the same egg over and over again for 10 years+.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Dear Crystal. Happy birthday to you. A little late. Sorry.
    Your post is great. Time helps, don't get in a rush.
    Congratulations on your book.
    The lie is #3.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Happy Belated Birthday, Crystal! Your advice is spot on. I signed up for the blog tour. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that #3 is the lie. :)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Sending you more virtual cheese! (And thanks for your advice the other day. I know this craziness will eventually fade and I'll get used to it.)

    ReplyDelete
  86. Happy Birthday! I laughed about the cheese--that's the lie.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hmm, could be... #3, maybe? Hope you had an excellent birthday! You're right, we always think we could do more to a story, but those outside factors are great for letting us know if we're getting close to what we want.

    ReplyDelete
  88. #1 is truth? Great list when we *think* our story are well done but they turn out to be under done!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Ha ha! #3 is the lie.
    Darn. Now I want to eat some eggs and cheese.
    I think I'm at the needing a developmental editor stage...

    ReplyDelete
  90. I love your phrase "ready...enough." Yeah, we'd never stop revising if we really had to reach the perfection that exists in our minds. But we have to get our books "ready...enough" and get on to new ones. Congrats on getting ARCs of Timeless out! That's a big step!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I survived Hurricane Matthew and moving and I'm back online. Thanks for taking time to visit my blog. And, Happy Belated Birthday!!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete

Hit me with your cheese!