Levels of "Done-ness"

For me, DONE falls in that same mythical bucket as leprechauns, magic weight-loss sprinkles, and completely sane authors. Many of us can spend an eternity reworking the same story/scene/word and still never perfect it.

However, I try to keep levels of “done-ness” in mind to prevent an endless cycle of rewriting.
  • RARE: Cut this manuscript open and it’s bleeding. Characters are convoluted, plot twists are more of plot knots, et cetera. But the juicy story and arcs are in there. This level is to be consumed only by yourself.
  • MEDIUM RARE: This manuscript has been back on the fire. It’s had a solid pass through or two. At this level, typos may be rampant and the middle might still be raw – but you’ve fixed it the best you can. Time to serve to your most trusted Beta readers (Hope you’re hungry, Muses).
  • MEDIUM: The first Beta reads have cooked this puppy more. In this level, the arcs are all in place and the major plot points are clear. The manuscript starts to sizzle with layers of detail. Feel free to plate for a wider audience of readers, though they’ll need to digest with a grain of salt.
  • MEDIUM WELL: Another flare of tweaking from the last round of critique means the subplots are rounded out and character’s voices are distinct and consistent. The word choices are spot on. Folks, it’s ready to offer up at conferences/show agents.
  • WELL DONE: The outside and inside are crisp. All but the most hidden typos are gone. The biggest changes are flipping between wobble and teeter on page 127, and then back again. This manuscript is solid. It’s not perfect, but ready for the masses. Bon appetite.
Hmmm…funny, I’m starving. All this blogging makes a guy hungry. Time to dot my Ribeye, cross my T-bones, and finish up this manuscript. And when I'm done, I'm going to get myself a big ole’ Porterhouse.
Can you pass those magic weight-loss sprinkles?


Amazingly perfect analogy! I love it. Hope all is well with your 'well-done' writing!

Hmnnn, I have a hankering for MEAT!

Great stuff, what's for dessert?

totally appreciated this approach to "doneness" and especially enjoyed the diagram. what i'm concerned about is that at times i'm aiming for filet mignon and end up getting rump roast....u have a fix for that?

in the meantime, going to eat a big juicy burger because ur blog solved the age old question...."what's for dinner..."
just, next time could u include a list of suggested whines for my meal?

Thanks for the comments!

Amy, hopes all is well-done with your writing too.

Janis, with writing, the dessert...is another steak!

Stacie, Whines. Ha. You're so clever. But I want a burger too. Come to CA and grill me one??

What I want to know is...what happens when you burn it...you know...o' chunk o' charcoal...what then??? What's your fix for that????

But I like medium rare ...

Post a Comment

Grid_spot theme adapted by Lia Keyes. Powered by Blogger.


discover what the Muses get up to when they're not Musing

an ever-growing resource for writers

Popular Musings

Your Responses

Fellow Musers