After working for several years now on my current work-in-progress, to now be done with stage 3 of my 3 part editing process, the question becomes, well now what? What do I do now that the edits are done?
One of the most difficult and honestly most stressful questions to ever ask any writer, is how do you know when a story is done? How do you know when you’ve literally done everything you can to make the story as perfect as it can be? A number of us will simply answer with the glib if not understated, “when you can no longer stand to look at it”. Still others will suggest that the true test is when you can think of no more possible changes that could be made to it, but I don’t think there’s a writer alive who hasn’t noticed at least one or seven things they would change somewhere in a story that’s been edited to death. So I tend to lean towards the former idea of: when you can no longer stand to look at it.
The next stage, besides the obvious of starting to send out queries to agents is actually to have other people actually read your story. It’s one thing entirely to tell them about your story in this sort of etherial sense, but the only way for them to get the full picture and for you to be able to get feedback on it, is to let people read it. Now that I’m at the end of this project, I am both exhausted, and frankly sick of looking at it, so now it’s time to let someone else look at it for a change and give me their thoughts, so I can pull myself out of my own head and my own anxieties about it. This is sort of a reiterated point, but it’s worth repeating because I think having people to read your story is so beneficial in so many ways.