Well, you guessed it the work is not finished with the words The End! Putting your writing away for a short time can help you look at it with fresh eyes. That is when the real works begins (that is NOT to say the writing of the story wasn’t real work). Before you ever start to edit, you always want a finished first draft. Revising is a multi-step process, so we will start with what you do after the first draft is on the paper.
First, celebrate! You have crafted a story. That is a great accomplishment. Give it a few days to just rest, so you can come back to it with fresh eyes.
Next, you should prepare yourself. If you come to rewriting with a bad outlook it will transfer into your story. Instead look at it as a way to make your writing and your story better. Every time you look at it, you will make the writing better, making the story all the better for it.
Moving along, print your story if it is on the computer. Having a hard copy gives you the same experience as your reader. Make sure you double space your copy, so you have plenty of room for notes. Then after it is printed read it through, don’t worry too much about notes at this point. You are just getting the full picture. A few quick notes are alright, but you want an over-all picture.
You want to start with the big issues and work your way down to the small ones. By looking at the story you were trying to tell, and the underlying story you see. Ask questions about your story, about the structure of the story, about your characters and the scenes. Delving deeper into your story and its background will help to strengthen your plot and help bring out the story you are trying to tell.
Now put it away for a short time again. Let your changes percolate and your subconscious think on your story.
After you have done all of that, now is time to rewrite your story. You can rewrite the whole thing, or you can copy and paste and just rewrite pieces. Just do what works for you. The beauty in writing is it is personal, and you can do whatever works.
After the rewrite it is time to refine your hard work. Now it should start to look like a good story. You are ready for the fine tuning. Twist the characters into the people you want to show the world. Remember to ask yourself if the little pieces you just CAN’T do without, make sure that they will not make the reader aware that they are in fact reading a story.
Lastly, you polish the piece, giving those final little touches that will make your story shine above the rest.
You have now had a brief glimpse of the process of story writing – looking at everything from beginnings, middles and ends, along with everything in between.