I wrote a short story a while back. It makes enormous sense to me but I can't decide if it would make as much sense to others. In my mind I imagine literary giants (mainly E.M.Forster for some reason) scoffing at my amateurish attempt. I don't know what to do with it, nor do I know if it's O.K.to have it published. The story does end rather abruptly but that's how I have seen most great stories end like: much sense is telescoped into a few lines. But I can't decide if that holds for my story too.

My question then is how does one handle such self-doubts? Also what should one do with such first drafts? Proceed with them, or perhaps burn them?

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    Hey @user432788, welcome to writing.se! You've been directed here from Literature as your question is a better fit for our site. But it still needs a little work. What are you asking here? It seems like you have finished a short story and are trying to decide what to do with it?
    – linksassin
    May 4, 2021 at 6:14
  • @linkassin: Yes, that is it. Does this site offer proofreading services? I would be obliged if someone gave it a cursory look? It is not that long.
    – user47703
    May 4, 2021 at 6:21
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    Not on main site, critiques don't really fit the Q&A model. However we have a chat room for reviews that you can share your work in.
    – linksassin
    May 4, 2021 at 6:24
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    What are the answers you are looking for from this question? What your options are for publishing, or what the steps are to finish your story after completing a first draft? Regarding confidence for first-time writers you might like to look at this question.
    – linksassin
    May 4, 2021 at 6:26
  • @linkassin: Thank you very much for those helpful words. Appreciate it!
    – user47703
    May 4, 2021 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


My question then is how does one handle such self-doubts?

Write some more, maybe do a second draft, and as you see your writing get better you'll feel better about it. Maybe find a few people to review it and see what feedback they have. If it's good, you know it's good. If there's bad feedback, then you can fix what they said and now it is good. Don't do nothing, the writing doesn't get better or worse if you don't do anything to it.

I'm going through one of my stories right now, and the early chapters are pretty bad. But hey, that just means I got better later on. Don't be put off by the large piles of bad writing you did early on. Think of how much better you can make it now.

Also what should one do with such first drafts? Proceed with them, or perhaps burn them?

NEVER burn your work. You'll want it back at some point. Either just to look at, maybe submit for a school assignment(assuming you're in school), or something else. Just keep it around.

But you don't have to move forward with them right away, or even at all. A lot of the time, you'll want to let it sit a bit before going back. Once you feel ready, you can go back and improve your story. If you don't feel like coming back to it ever, just use it as an example of what (not?) to do, depending on how good it is.

  • That was reassuring indeed. Thank you very much!
    – user47703
    May 4, 2021 at 15:31
  • Could you please review my very short story if it's not to much to ask for?
    – user47703
    May 4, 2021 at 15:32
  • @user432788, sure! you can put it in the beta chat and I'll take a look at it. May 4, 2021 at 17:02

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