Yep, this is the next stage for my little ditties. My stories, or as some people might be inclined to say ‘ideas’. Here is where I take all the input from my betas and examine those comments.
I put them up against my purpose and priority for the story. My concerns, my doubts, my middle of the night I want to quit and reconsider their comments. The ‘if’ I go on moment. Reread my own original without the comments in hand and then look at it again pulling valid concerns.
If they have any that is. Most people will just nod, and say “Good story.” Or a mere “Great idea.” Rarely do you/I come across someone with useful critique and commentary. That? For that I had to pay. Not dearly, since it was blessfully a distant family relation. (Thanks Hairy Dude.)
What must be remembered is that you have to have someone to write for, and keep them in mind throughout. Purpose. Priority is to me the story you want to tell. Say, X is who I am writing for, and the why, is I want them to see the depths of how whacked I can be. Tell that story, I say to myself as I reread and rewrite every page.
Time and distance is a good point of that beta read. To make me set it down and walk away. Let my brain go to mush on the story, work on the concept of something else. Come back with a fresh eye.
Now, rewrite the real story. Some that was prominent in the first draft never make it into the second. Some characters that were late to the first, show up on time and all prepared with their lines. Scenes that you wanted to write but couldn’t quite make it work will just flow out of your finger tips effortlessly. Others that you know should be there are challenges that seem insurmountable. Keep at it, that story is in there. Unlash the roots holding it in your brain and get it out here for the rest of us to enjoy as well.
That is fourth stage. REWRITE!