Start writing fiction: characters and stories
Start writing fiction: characters and stories

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Start writing fiction: characters and stories

7.1.3 Editing your story

Figure 4

Remember that your short story has to be ready soon, so you should continue to review it, and start rewriting and editing it as necessary.

Editing your writing is very important – some would say the most important aspect of writing. It’s often said that anyone can write but only writers can edit. Now that you have written your first draft and left it to settle for a while, you will need to go back and reflect on what you have written, and make changes accordingly.

  • Don’t be afraid to cut large parts of it if necessary.
  • As we have already discussed, you might find that when you have got into the story you can go back and cut out the opening sentences. Remember the ‘Emma said’ exercises in Finding a voice [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Some openings may well have been used as a way to get into writing the story, or a particular passage, but the story might be more vibrant and enticing without them.
  • Remember that you are aiming to develop a character who is complex and not too predictable.
  • Remember that you are aiming to make the story as interesting and intriguing for the reader as you can.
  • Reflect on all your reading and any tricks or techniques that you see in the novels and stories that might help you.
  • Also reflect on the reading you’ve done that displays techniques and approaches that don’t seem, to you, to be working.
SWF_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus