Done with the story?

Just when you finish typing the last sentence of your story an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction comes over you.

You’re done.

Finished.

Another story in the books… At least that’s what you thought. Just because you wrote the last sentence doesn’t mean you’re actually done.

When I first started writing that’s what I thought. I’m done. I gave it the good college try. I should be good. Right? NO! Now that you are completely done with the story, it’s time to go back, back to the beginning (did you catch the Buffy reference. If not please go watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 7).

Once you finish your story, its just the start of another process- editing your story. Very rarely is your first go, a brilliant work of art, although we are each entitled to our own opinions. When I reviewed my story I saw a lot of mistakes. One, I left words out. I’d been typing so fast my brain was filling in the word I’d wanted so I didn’t realize it until later. Two, some of my dialogue just didn’t fit. Three, what happened to this character? They just disappeared. And four, some parts just didn’t seem necessary.

Now, I do not start fixing all of this all in one go. I fill in the words that are missing, then I write down what didn’t work. Next to that I write possible solutions. How could the dialogue be better, more realistic? And how can I incorporate this particular character throughout the entire story? And what do I need to trim to make everything vital into the story?

It usually takes me a month or two to revise a story. I’m still learning my method, but I will tell you that after I finalize the story, I am so sick of looking at it I want to just burn it. Yes I am literally that fed up with it. And then I know I’m done. But remember, use your writing friends. Bounce your ideas off of them.

I just finished a story and I had one of my classmates from my writing class critique it. And she did a wonderful job. She made some suggestions for words and even told me what could be cut out because she knew I was over the word limit. I was very happy with the story once I made those changes. So get to writing and start polishing up those stories.

How do you know when you are done with a story? Let me know, or am I the only one who starts to hate the entire thing towards the end?

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