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  1. Justin Berak

    Justin Berak Member

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    When am I done editing?

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by Justin Berak, Oct 23, 2016.

    I feel like this one short story has been the only thing I can focus on for the last month, even though I finished it a month ago. The problem is that I've never finished a story, or showed someone a finished story. I'm new to this "finishing" business, and don't know how to know when a work is completed.
     
    Kinzvlle likes this.
  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Not every short story is going to work out, especially if you are just starting out. You said you are new to finishing things. Stop being new. And the only way to do that is to write more of them. When I first started writing short stories, I wrote a new one every week. And I wasn't just writing a first draft an moving on to the next. I edited and polished each story to the best of my abilities at the time. Writing a story a week is completely doable. And it will help you improve much more than working on the same story for months. I don't think you need to worry about showing anyone you're writing until you've made more of a commitment. That being said, there is a famous quote from Leonardo da Vinci that says "Art in never finished, only abandoned."

    The very first short story I wrote (and I'm not counting work from my younger years) was not very good, but at the time I wrote it I had no idea how I could make it better. After writing a good 50 or so more stories, I went back and rewrote my first story. It came out so much better since I had become a better writer and storyteller. Also, make sure you are reading good short stories and lots of them. Reading is a surefire way to improve writing.
     
  3. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

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    I typically do three full read-throughs/edits once I've completed a story. I let the thing sit and ferment between these sessions, often for weeks/months. After the third time through I've pretty much fixed all the little syntax problems, typos, etc. At that point it really needs another set of eyes to look at it with a fresh perspective. I've been fortunate to find a good volunteer editor/beta reader who works as a librarian. Not much gets past him. Once he's had a go I consider it complete and ready for publication.
     
  4. Justin Berak

    Justin Berak Member

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    Thank you very much, everyone! That's very useful information! When I rack up enough posts I'll put it up in the workshop!
     

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