Drafting, crafting, polishing, and editing are writing tasks that do not move in a straight line. I am currently working on two longer, more complicated short stories than I usually try to complete. One is the unplanned novella I mentioned earlier and the other is a short story I drafted in my Short Story course.
I drafted, crafted and polished both stories as I usually would. Then, I sent them off to readers (not editors) to obtain feedback on my work. In the Short Story course this process was rather formal, but whether formal or informal the feedback was valuable.
Because both stories were well-accepted by the readers, but both also had some problems, the projects were pushed into the editing phases. While all stories do not share all of these phases, for both the stories in question the editing phases consisted of new drafting, crafting and polishing phases. For one of these stories, the one I wrote for the Short Story course, material needed to be added for the story to make sense to readers that do not share my understanding of autism. For the novella, major assumptions I made in the story needed to be questioned, answered, and re-written.
As I move through the editing phases, my stories improve. Once I’ve completed the final polishing phase, they’ll be ready to be read again. I hope, shortly thereafter, they will be ready to be read by an editor or two. Of course, the editor who agrees to publish the manuscript may require additional editing.