You finished the short story. You love what you wrote. It’s everything you meant it to be. You’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s. You find the right venue that your story fits into like a well-fitting glove. What’s the next step?
You wait. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, the best thing to do with that work is to set it aside for a few days, a week or at least long enough for you to be able to go back and look at it as a Reader, not a Writer.
You should always be the first Reader of your work and to do that you must separate yourself from the words long enough to be able to take a fresh look at what you’ve written. You might be surprised at what you’ve missed, a hole in the story or a character that isn’t believable might pop up and as a Reader, you find those flaws.
I know that when I write, I sometimes am so intent on getting my words out, that I don’t realize that the reader is not in my head. I can’t assume they know my past or my thoughts…I have to write about them so they understand the who, what and where of my story.
How many times have you walked away from a conversation and thought about all the things you should have said? Things that would have made your point of view clearer, easier to understand and make a greater impact on the listener?
As writers, we get the chance to go back and add those things so that the readers have a better understanding of where we’re coming from and where we’re going with our story.
So, as hard as it is to do, set that finished piece aside for a while. Then return to it as a Reader. Step away and take a closer look. If you feel the same excitement you felt when you finished it; then it’s ready.