Nobody wants to read a “clunky” story.
We all start out writing shit. Stories that are bogged down with unnecessary words, adverbs, phrases, and telling sentences make the reader wish to scream “I’m not a fucking idiot! Get on with it!!”
Tightening that manuscript is rough. Polishing her down until she shines is even more difficult. Whatever metaphorical whimsy you’re feeling today works, but lately for me it’s all about closing up the gaps. I recently received the more praising rejection of my career. I was told that my story was high-quality and they very regretfully, and reluctantly had to pass because they just couldn’t place it. Regretfully AND reluctantly. haha
The editor very kindly did note that some copy editing is still needed. Now this is on my best work. My most prized treasure. I spend nearly 2 years working on this 7,000 word short story. I have written novels in less time. Every piece of my soul and skill went into crafting this doll and she will get published, IN PRINT.
But…in going over her again and receiving a 2nd rejection (now mind you I always sub to the most competitive markets first and make my way down) I went through and cleaned her up to perfection. When I finished writing this story I sat back and felt that I had really done something with my life. It was like, “I can die now. I’ve written my best work.” But that’s not to say that more work wasn’t needed.
Just because you finally write something that satisfies you creative energies, doesn’t mean that she won’t need tending. Oftentimes there are words and sentences that are just too telling to be left alone. Cutting out those extra insights will close a LOT of gaps.
In the past year I’ve heard a lot about gaps. Thigh gaps for instance, are something that women seem to strive for, but I have heard from countless men who assure all of womankind that thigh gaps are in fact, no bueno. Close those gaps! Fill the story in at all the right spots and she will read like a goddess.
You don’t want an empty story that has no sustenance, but you also don’t want her to be overflowing with fat. Stories need a healthy balanced diet just like people. Feed her the right words and punctuation and she will thrive.