I can usually pick out the chapter, paragraph, even sentence, that inspired a story.
Big claim, I know. But, while in the fledgling stages of pre-edit, there is always one section that is by and far more beautiful, more poetic, more perfect and error-free, than all the other parts of a manuscript. Very likely, this is the section you feel no need to ever rework; I certainly will find no reason for modification.
Inspiration came to you in a dream, or through a conversation, or any of the millions of ways Muse gifts a writer’s mind. It is a pearl—your pearl—that you’ve unknowingly fostered and then gifted to me.
When I find the chapter, that paragraph, that tiny exquisite sentence, I will thank you. I will sit straighter in my chair and know just where you intend for your whole manuscript to be.