Is a story really ever over?
Does it truly ever end?
I was thinking about this today, while doing some more work converting my novel-to-comic. I “finished” it awhile back, after re-re-re-rewriting it for the last (roughly) ten years. And even now, when I have “put it to bed” and whatnot, I have thoughts of adding things or changing scenes around or inserting some more informative exposition here or there. But I don’t, and I don’t know why. I’ve heard established writers’ thoughts on this, and the unanimous consensus is usually “when you can’t add to it without changing what you originally set out to do, its done.”
With that being said, I don’t know.
I guess I’m of the belief that a story is complete (and by “complete”, I do not mean over) only when the author is ready for it to be read by outsiders, i.e., someone other than friends, family, editors, and the like. That’s just my take on it; there could still be moments where you feel the urge to add something, but if its ready to be read by a stranger, than its ready.
The REAL question is, how do we know when its ready?
I’m reminded of the original stories, of ancient myth, and how they were told around fires by storytellers who may or may not have come up with them themselves. By the time the story reached the 10th person it had completely changed form from its previous version(s).
So, if you think yours is complete, don’t go crazy over whether it truly is or isn’t. Chances are, if it gets read enough, it won’t be your baby anymore, really. Another mind, another heart will have already given it new meaning, new purpose, new life.
Love to hear some thoughts on this.