Q: When do you decide a story is finished?
A: For me, the first draft is about plot and the revisions are about character. I write epic fantasy, so my stories are usually plot-heavy and have a natural conclusion: the villain is defeated. But of course great stories are built around characters. For a story to be finished, I want to feel like I’ve done justice to each character’s emotional arc. Are they in a different place from when they started? Does the reader understand the character well enough that their choices make sense? Do readers see a vision of what the future will look like for a character, even though the story is over? These questions are an important part of my revising process.
Cecelia Isaac’s story “The Numismatist”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 17 February 2023.
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