Your story is the piece of work that you’ve labored over for weeks, months, or even years to finish. But is it really finished yet? Is the story you’ve worked on so hard really, truly ready to be on sale?
I raise this question because I’m going over my checklist of making sure a story is complete with my debut novel When Love Hurts.
So is your story complete? Is it ready to be shipped out to the world for all eyes to see or are you not quite sure? Here are some points to check:
- Are all the loose ends tied?
- Is your villain destroyed or enabled?
- Is your protagonist’s problem solved?
- Does your story have some form of conclusion?
Don’t say ‘The End’ with these questions still hanging in the air. Be careful to reread your work and notice what you actually wrote on the screen and not what you thought you wrote.
2. Are all your plot holes plugged?
- Your readers will notice if you bring up an issue in the beginning of your story and never resolve it. So this is a good area to double-check.
- It’s a good idea to keep your audience in suspense or in anticipation of what’s going to happen in the end but their patience must be rewarded with some answer.
3. Have your protagonist changed?
- The outcome of your story should impact your protagonist deeply enough that they change or grow on the inside.
- Seeing the growth of your character ties your story together and gives your story a fuller conclusion.
- The character didn’t go on the journey to come back with nothing. Your characters evolve after an experience just like humans. They learn something each time.
This list focused on making sure the story is fully created and that nothing was left out or unresolved. This should be used as a checklist before publication to make sure your readers get the maximum value of your book.
What do you think you should check in your story before publishing? Share it in the comments.