When do you consider a novel or short story to be finished?
I never feel like my work is finished. Because I can always see a way to improve it. So for me - I have had to define finished as being complete and polished but not perfect. Otherwise I would never finish anything :)
Writers, especially of fiction, often deal with grey areas. There is not set definition of when our works it complete. How to go about completing our work. Or any defined standards that we are held to. Even identifying which genre to label our writing with can be difficult.
In this somewhat daunting world of flux I have found it useful to make a definition. Like with being finished - if I am struggling with something in writing - I define it.
For example. I write Science Fiction and Fantasy which are two genre's that are very closely related. So when I am writing something how do I know if it is Science Fiction or Fantasy? Well - I defined what the two terms mean to me. Science Fiction is (most often) scientifically plausible and futuristic in nature. Fantasy usually has a medieval feel and involves magic, is not scientifically plausible and so on.
Now - these are not necessarily other peoples, or even the industries, definitions of Science Fiction and Fantasy. But having defined these terms for myself - I find it easier to categorize my work.
What definition's have you made in your life to help you with writing?