I've finished the first revision of the story, which means it's time for the second revision, which generally takes even longer.
The way I write, the first draft is like a rough sketch, containing the basic outline of the story, but hazy on the details. I place all sorts of little notes in the story, along the lines of [NOTE: Describe this room in more detail.], [NOTE: Look up details on ancient Roman construction techniques.], [NOTE: I need to clarify the logical connection to show why the detective would suspect this guy.], or [NOTE: Place scene here.] It's messy, but I'm in a hurry to give the story its skeleton. The first revision has the big job of filling in all these little details. If I do it right, there's no more need for the notes when I'm done. Then comes the second revision, where I print out the whole story and read through it out loud, making changes to how it sounds and flows. I find this helps a lot, especially when it comes to spotting things that sound good in my head but really stupid when said out loud. It also helps me to make sure each character's style of speaking is consistent and just fits. Anyway, I mark up the hard copy of the story a lot when I do this, and the next step is to go back to the word processor and make the revisions there. Once this is done, the story is ready to share--with my close friends who can advise me of whether the story makes sense and is any good. Once I've gotten their input, I make the corrections they've suggested (if I agree with them, anyway), then read through it one more time, fixing any errors that have cropped up due to all the revising.
At that point, the story is "done," at least in the sense that it's ready to share with the public. This doesn't necessarily stop me from going back and revising it again, but I'm pretty reluctant to do that once it's been published, even in the web format.
New Post: I finally have a tentative name for the story, above.
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