Think about your story before you write it up in 'best'.
- How many characters have you got? Does each of them deserve a place in your story? Make them all WORK for their place.
Does your main character find him/herself in an interesting but difficult position at the beginning of the story?
- Do they have a decision to make? How do they make it? What is it in their CHARACTER that makes them choose that course of action, and not another one?
What are the obstacles that get in the way of the hero/heroine solving their problems? (Are they difficult people or unfortunate circumstances?) Are the obstacles believable? We can believe that Jack's giant is evil and lives at the top of a beanstalk because we know it's a fairy story. Putting Jack's problems into 'Pig Heart Boy' by Mallorie Blackman, for example, just wouldn't work. Make the problems and solutions 'fit' the sort of story you are writing.
- How does your hero/ heroine sort out his/her problems? How will she/he get out of their difficult position? Is your solution logical for the story (magic for a fairy story, medicine for an episode of 'ER', etc)?
- Does the ending 'feel' right, or is it just too crazy to sit comfortably with the story? Is it satisfying? Does an ending 'work' where the bad guy gets rewarded or the good guy goes to prison? Usually the answer is no, but it might be OK as long as there is a reason for it to happen this way. Perhaps the good guy has done something bad and needs to face his past, or the bad guy might learn that from his reward that goodness can be satisfying.
- What ever sort of ending you choose, you must convince the reader that what happens is 'right' for the characters in the story.
- Ideally the hero/heroine should have learned something or realised something, or have developed his or her character somehow by the end of the story.