Monday, October 3, 2011
To Show or Not To Show
I have a dilemma. I've mentioned it casually before, but I hope you don't mind if I bring it up again.
I can't decide whether or not to start showing people my WIP.
Here's the thing. I've always been one of those who keeps unfinished work under cover. I don't even talk about it with anyone until its done. When I read Steven Kings advice to never show anyone your work until its done, my reaction was, yeah, that's what I think. I'm self-conscious enough as it is without having someone pass any kind of judgement on something I'm not done with yet. I worry it might kill my oomph. But I've always had a pinch of doubt that goes with it. What if I really need an outside perspective? What if it would help me catch big mistakes earlier in the process? What if it actually gave me more motivation?
I'm just not sure. I haven't shown anybody up to this point, but I'm halfway through, which means I'm more dedicated to the story, and I may be relatively safe from peoples opinions. So do I risk it, in hopes of making it better? What do you do? I could give someone the first half and take their feedback into account for the second, and even maybe give people the next chapters as they come. Or do I just keep it safe and crank through it and then show it when I'm done? Maybe just one person? How do I decide who to show it too, if I decide to at all? Advice?
I also have a legal question: If at some future point I wanted to post excerpts here on the blog, say the first chapter, would it cause problems later with agents, editors or publishers? What's the deal-io on that?
Your advice and wisdom is much appreciated. You guys are awesome, and I wish you the best on your current projects!