The truth is a story is an organic thing that can improve and evolve over time. Do you tell stories the exact same way when you tell them aloud? Or do you tweak them? Change them each time? Similarly, when I read my published stories aloud to an audience, I sometimes make spontaneous changes to the text, especially if it is part of role-play.
With this is mind, it is VERY hard to write a final draft that you will never, ever, ever want to tweak or change, especially considering the wide range of audience and readers. However, my advice would be, if you are at the stage where you are putting the same words in, out and in again… it’s probably time. This is assuming that you’ve left the text a while to give yourself objectivity on it, and that other writers you trust have given you feedback on it (Not just on a word level, but feedback on the concept and structure, too.)
I wrote a guest post for Write mentor about knowing whether your story is ready. Here it is if you’d like further reading: https://write-mentor.com/2019/12/01/editing-how-do-you-know-when-a-story-is-finished-by-clare-helen-welsh/
Also, Amy Sparkes posted some great advice about Editing on her #WednesdayWritingTips Here they are in case you missed them!
So, going back to our initial question; ‘Is my story ready?’
It’s a question only you can answer… hopefully this week’s content gives you some techniques to develop objectivity when making your decision.
But do remember that whilst we need to be critical of our work in order to push ourselves and make progress, it’s ok to create work that is flawed and imperfect; be willing to fail and learn from your mistakes and start again. Instead of giving up, or not trying, figure out what works for you, learn some skills and techniques to develop your confidence. The more you do, the better you’ll get.
Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.