Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The name of the game: EDITS

I decided today I would post a list of revisions I wanted to do on my book, or check to see if they were needed as I read through my MS. I hope you find these helpful. They are things that every writer should check for in their MS.


· Vary sentance length (use small, or super long sentences for impact, and longer ones for quieting the scene)

· Create hooks within opening and closing paragraphs to each chapter.

· Seperate sentences to create a question (in first sentence) and answer (in second sentence)

· ADD CRISES. Adding conflicts, when realistic, or more twists is always good. Check to see if you can fit in more.

· Make sure every scene has movement. Each scene should tell its own story and leave you wanting more.

· Catch your Clichés. Use a reversal so that your story (cliche) becomes unpretictable.

· Add more subtext (create tention or feeling with body language, not just dialogue).

· See if there are places where you can create more tention by not giving answers right away.

· Break up your work by putting in appropriate flash backs. Or flash forward to the next scene of action if your current scene is dragging or isn't important to the story.

· Don't add prose just to add prose, use it when needed to enhance the story. (make utilitarian)

· take out repeated scenes, places you use, or language (ticks)

· Balance your MC's inner and outer conflict. Too much thinking drags the story down, while none at all makes it hard to connect to them.

· Study each character's diction. What words would they use as apposed to another character. Change each person's dialogue to match their personality. (also remember clichés are ok in dialogue)

· take out words and phrases that have no meaning.

· Use strong verbs and better nouns (ex: instead of car = red minivan, tree = oak, flower = violets)

Some of these things may be obvious, but I think most are good reminders. It can definitely be added to. If you have more suggestions please post them in the comments.

Again, these are ideas I got from the revising books I have read. Check out my list below, they are great resources, and have helped me a ton in my MS.


MBW aka Olleymae said...

Great list! I know in my revisions lately I've had to really focus on making sure the characters all have clear motivations and aren't just pawns in my plot.

ahhh. I love revision.

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

Good list.

Jen said...

Fantastic list. I think sometimes it's best to write your intentions and plans on paper, that way nothing is forgotten. I have a plan to outline now that my book is written, I know that might sound funny but it will allow me to know how to break it all apart.

Great post!

beth said...

WOW! What a comprehensive list. Brava!