I just completed a revision of one of my full-length plays a few days ago. I found a cozy coffee shop in Shelton, WA, and spent much of the day there, drinking coffee and revising (it's hard to revise with children underfoot--generating words is possible, but revising has to wait until they are occupied or asleep). And I finished the revision, or so I thought.
I woke up this morning with an awareness that the final scene of the play wasn't finished. It wasn't what I wanted it to be. And though the knowledge made me curse (in my mind, since my daughter was standing over me), I realized my instinct was right. The play isn't ready to send off yet.
I don't always like that instinct to kick in. I'd love to write something and just know it was ready to send off. But that instinct also saves me from a world of embarrassment. The only time I send a work off to readers is when I know something isn't right, but I can't figure out what it is... and my lovely readers tell me what's not working.
When do you know something's done? Perhaps I am a bit OCD about it, but I'd love to hear what lets you know something is as good as it gets. How do you know when something is finished?