12 Baby Steps to a Complete Story:
Kudos & Suggestions

A Pen In Each Hand

So you have an idea, but you don’t know where to start… and the end seems so far away it might as well be on Pluto. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Follow the 12 Baby-Steps to a Complete Story and you’ll be on your way. Each month, we’ll post a new exercise. Do each month’s exercise and by the end of the year, you’ll have a polished story (or personal essay, if you prefer non-fiction) ready to submit!

The time-line here is designed for a short piece of writing, not a book, but if you’d like to do it with a novel idea, you’re welcome to. If you’d just like to do the exercises as practice, and use different pieces for each exercise, that’s fine too. Adapt the exercises any way you like. There are no rules, just ideas.


June: Kudos & Suggestions
Exercise #6

Set your story or chapter aside for a week (minimum) after receiving feedback, then print a copy and read it over. Taking a break from your work, so that you come back to it with fresh eyes, as well as seeing it in a different format, on paper rather than computer screen, will help you pinpoint and solve problems.

Print out the feedback you received and using it, list your story’s strengths and weaknesses. List as many as you can and in as much detail as you can. Post your lists, making a note of which problems are your stickiest. Ask for suggestions on how to solve them. Now set your story or chapter aside for a bit while you let all these ideas ferment.

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