Going through my library, I began perusing the 1981 version of The Writer's Digest Handbook of Short Story Writing and came across this checklist prepared by Allan W. Eckert. . He has a little bit more to say in his article about each of these points but I find the points themselves very instructive: 1. Have you started at the right place? 2. Is your beginning too slow? 3. Have you established mood? 4. Have you been careful with flashbacks? 5. Have you written about something that you know? 6. Have you dated your story? 7. Have you included unnecessary action? 8. Have you been redundant? 9. Have you included unnecessary characters? 10. Have you kept your characters in character? 11. Have you overworked a word or phrase? 12. Is your dialogue stilted? 13. Are your facts accurate? 14. Have you destroyed your scene or mood? 15. Have you been trite or “cute”? 16. Has your action been consistent? 17. Have you said something that means something? 18. Is your story logical? 19. Has your protagonist solved his own problem? 20. Is it a story or an essay? 21. Is your climax too short? 22. Have you ended your story too soon or too late? 23. Have you been too wordy? 24. Have you written just for yourself? 25. Have you let your reader think?