It's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means! It's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group! Alex J. Cavanaugh is our host. His minions for this month are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley.
Be sure to visit the IWSG website! And don't forget that the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest is underway! The deadline is November 1st.
The question for this month is: When do you know your story is ready?
This is a tricky question. One of the main things that used to hold me back was the feeling that the story is never done. How could I send my story out into the world when it's not absolutely perfect? The problem with that thought process is this: the story is never going to be perfect. You can edit and edit and edit endlessly. If only a bright neon sign could pop up and declare "It's finished!"
Since life isn't that simple, I ask myself a series of questions. Does the story achieve what I wanted? Do the characters stand out? Does everything make sense? Have I eliminated all of the grammatical and spelling errors that I can? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, I declare it done. I try not to worry so much about every single word choice beyond those first rounds of editing. If I let myself get wrapped up in that, the story would never see the light of day. As a writer, that would be a problem.
How do you decide a story is ready?