A few days ago, I set my writing goal for the week.
I also told the followers of my weekly newsletter about the goal I had set. That goal was to beef up three characters with at least one extra scene for each in my work in progress.
Did I accomplish my goal?
I did. Partially. I did go back into the book I'm working on and add in a couple of scenes that better define the characters. And I, of course, re-read the entire manuscript several times.
I'm not finished yet, though. I still think there's more work to be done.
If you read your work and when you finish you feel as though something is missing, don't dismiss that feeling. Ask yourself, what's nagging me? Is it a not fully developed character? Is it a feeling that the timeline is off? Is there a secondary character who is interesting, but has nothing to do of importance? Why is that character here? Should I cut that character? Give him something to do or contribute that adds to the story?
Maybe you have a feeling something's off but you can't put your finger on the problem. Get a friend, editor, or second reader to read the book. Have them look for areas in the book that bother them, pull them out of the book, leave them wondering about a character or event. Don't tell them what to look for.
Sometimes you can set aside your WIP. Then when you come back to it, you see it with fresh eyes.
I've found that it's always good to trust my instincts.
Do you ever set writing goals? Does that help you?
3 months ago