How to tell if my story is finished, or needs more?

Asked by: Mary Johnson

How do you know when a story is finished?

Nothing else can be added.

Not every writer will feel this, but many know when they’re finished because they can’t bear to read another word. They’ve read, re-read, edited and edited again and they’re sick of it. That’s because it’s finished.

How do you know if your story is too long?

5 Signs of Cardboard Characters

  1. The Characters’ Personalities Don’t Inform the Plot. …
  2. The Story Isn’t About These Characters. …
  3. The Characters Lack Concrete and Specific Motivations. …
  4. The First Half of the Story Spends More Time Setting Up the Plot Than It Does the Characters.

How long should a good story be?

In most genres, a novel of between 80,000 and 90,000 words is likely to be easier to publish, but there are exceptions. Again, my advice is to read a lot of novels in the genre that you want to write and analyze how they are put together. Make a list of scenes, and think about how, scene by scene, the story unfolds.

Do stories need a good ending?

A reader should walk away with a feeling that the story is complete. Transformation: A story’s ending should bring a powerful close to your character development. The main character has learned valuable lessons along the way and the ending should illustrate their transformation.

How much is too much in a story?

There’s too much if it completely erases a story’s momentum. There’s too much if there’s more back story than current story. There’s too much if it interrupts multiple scenes or chapters in a row. There’s too much if one character dwells only on the past.

How long is too long for a story?

If you’re writing your first novel, the general rule of thumb for novel writing is a word count in the 80,000 to 100,000 range. While anything over 40,000 words can fall into the novel category, 50,000 is considered the minimum novel length. Anything over 110,000 words is considered too long for a fiction novel.

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How many characters are too many in a book?

A good rule of thumb might be: Include as many characters as needed to tell the story and evoke the proper style and scope—and no more. For intimate novels, this number might be as small as 2-5 secondary characters, and for broader stories, this number might be 20-30.

What makes a story good?

A story needs conflict and resolution; tension and release; mystery and revelation. There should be losses and gains, setbacks and comebacks, peaks and troughs. And, above all, a story should be about people: their dreams and desires; loves and hates; problems and passions.

Why do all stories have happy endings?

Because happy endings provide hope, instilling the belief that obstacles can be overcome, love can last, fences can be mended, and good can triumph. Writing books with happy endings: this, too, is a fine and noble occupation for a writer.

How do you write a happy ending?

A Checklist For Writing A Great Happy Ending

  1. It’s positive, but not perfect. …
  2. Loose ends are tied up neatly. …
  3. No last-minute entanglements or distractions. …
  4. Hint at things to come. …
  5. No deus ex machina. …
  6. Happiness happens in context. …
  7. There’s A Difference Between The Right Ending And The Happy Ending.

How do you end a story well?

Seven Tips to Craft the Perfect Ending

  1. Find your ending in the beginning. …
  2. Completion goes hand-in-hand with hope. …
  3. Keep things fresh. …
  4. Make sure it’s really finished. …
  5. Last impressions matter. …
  6. Come full circle. …
  7. Leave some things unsaid.
  8. 1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.
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What is a tied ending?

A tied ending is on that brings the story full circle—it ends where it begins. This type of ending follows the classic Hero’s Journey, which is common to many myths and folktales from around the world, but it’s also a popular choice for many works of literary fiction trying to capture the cyclical nature of time.

What is a tragic ending?

adjective. A tragic event or situation is extremely sad, usually because it involves death or suffering. […]

What are stories with sad endings called?

An anticlimax or “downer ending” both might fit reasonably well.

What do you call a story with a happy ending?

A tragicomedy might be a serious drama interspersed with funny moments that periodically lighten the mood, or a drama that has a happy ending.

What is a story with a happy ending?

A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the main protagonists and their sidekicks, while the main villains/antagonists are defeated.

How do you write a tragic ending?

In terms of structure, the most important part of a tragedy is its ending. The ending has to show the hero’s final destruction, usually (but not always) meaning death. You should have an ending in mind as you write, so that you have some idea of what you’re building up to. How will your hero be destroyed?

Why tragic ending is important?

If something bad happens in a character’s life, they can learn from the experience. Even if the character remains the same, it might teach the audience something about life. Having an unhappy ending can show you all of the wrong things to do in a situation.

How is a character realistic?

The realist is someone who doesn’t expect things. They deal with each situation as it comes up. Their view on life is logical. By not hoping or expecting things to turn out in specific ways, they are never disappointed.

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What makes a story unrealistic?

Character issues: unrelatable, too perfect, backstory and behavior don’t match, missing/inadequate motivations for actions, etc. Story or premise issues: premise doesn’t make sense, inconsistent world-building rules, too shallow (no element of truth), etc.

How do you make your story set more real and familiar?

How to Create a Vivid Setting for Your Story

  1. Use place to your advantage. Place denotes both geographical location and immediate surroundings. …
  2. Make use of time. …
  3. Show the world through your characters’ eyes. …
  4. Be aware of how setting affects emotions.

How do you give your character more depth?

Here are five ways to enhance your characters and their depth.

  1. Give Your Characters a Personality Flaw. Characters need to be portrayed as living and breathing humans. …
  2. Give Your Characters an Addiction. …
  3. Give Your Character a Physical Disability. …
  4. Give Your Character a Mental Disability. …
  5. Give Your Character a Secret.

What is a flat character?

A flat character is a character with little to no complex emotions, motivations, or personality. They also don’t undergo any kind of change to make them more well-rounded. In other words, they’re the opposite of a “round character,” who has a fully fleshed out profile and changes throughout the story.

How do you avoid flat characters?

Thankfully, there are ways we can avoid writing characters who will fall flat with audiences.

  1. Don’t make them stupid. …
  2. Don’t make them all one thing. …
  3. Give your villains redeemable qualities (and vice versa) …
  4. Don’t rely on specific physical descriptions. …
  5. Don’t choose race/gender simply for diversity. …
  6. Don’t reveal every detail.