Welcome to this month's Insecure Writer's Group post. The question this month is: When do you know your story is ready?
My stories are written in a flurry of words. They're messy and ugly. After one or ten edits, they go to my crit group where they point out all the ugly bits I overlooked. Around this time a story might be ready. It might not.
So how to know when? It's a feeling. And sometimes that feeling is wrong (like when multiple editors point out the same reasons for rejection). But, for the most part, it isn't.
It's a point where you can read the story and not have any doubts over a line or a paragraph, scene or chapter. When the story makes you smile and feels complete. When you've reached the point where you're fussing over a word choice and realize you're just screwing around rather than bucking up and putting it out in submissions.
The stage when you're sick of your story and don't ever want to see it again...unless you're holding a printed copy in your hand with your favorite signing pen in the other.
When you've run out of ideas of how to make it any better than the version in front of you. That's when it's time to either shelve it or pat it on the head, smile at it one last time and sent it off into the world to see what becomes of it.