Are you ready to edit?

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Are you ready to edit?

Post by willow on Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:07 pm

Your MS is finished and you are ready to edit! But how do you do that? What are you supposed to look for? SPaG of course, but what else? The article below was posted on Nathan Bransford's Blog. It is informative and helpful for a new writer. Get the tissues ready, you might not be as done as you think you are! smiling



Revision Checklist:

- Does the main plot arc initiate close enough to the beginning that you won't lose the reader?

- Does your protagonist alternate between up and down moments, with the most intense towards the end?

- Are you able to trace the major plot arcs throughout the book? Do they have up and down moments?

- Do you have enough conflict?

- Does the reader see both the best and worst characteristics of your main characters?

- Do your characters have backstories and histories? Do these impact the plot?

- Is the pacing correct for your genre? Is it consistent?

- Is your voice consistent? Is it overly chatty or sarcastic?

- Is the tense completely consistent? Is the perspective consistent?

- Is there sufficient description that your reader feels grounded in the characters' world?

- Is there too much description? (David R. Slayton)

- Are momentous events given the weight they deserve?

- Look closely at each chapter. If you can take out a chapter and the plot will still make sense, is it really necessary? Should some events be folded in with others?

- Do the relationships between your characters develop and change and become more complicated as the book goes on?

- What do your characters want? Is it apparent to the reader? Do they have both conscious and unconscious motivations?

- Do you know what your writing tics are? Do you overuse adverbs, metaphors, facial expressions, non-"said" dialogue tags, or interjections? Have you removed them?

- Do you overuse certain words or phrases? Is your word choice perfect throughout?

- Does your book come to a completely satisfying conclusion? Does it feel rushed?

- Do your main characters emerge from the book irrevocably changed?

- Are your characters distinguishable? Does it make sense to combine minor characters? (Kiersten)

- Do each of your scenes make dramatic sense on their own as well as move the overall plot forward? (Pete Peterson)
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Re: Are you ready to edit?

Post by NaClshaker on Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:50 pm

Actually, I don't consider the initial completion of the manuscript as time to "edit". For me, it's more like time for the first "re-write". What's the difference between editing and re-writing? The first "re-write" is when I alter the plot, add sub plots, remove extraneous subplots, redefine a character(s) or setting, slow the pace in some areas while increasing the pace where needed, etc. In other words, the rewrite actually changes the structure of the story, refining and improving the general storyline.

When I "edit" a manuscript, I am looking carefully at tiny portions of the story. I examine punctuation, check for typos (especially camo-typos . . . those little buggers that may not show up in a spell check or grammar check). I may occasionally improve a scene or dialog by swapping out a descriptive word. But, for me "editing" does not materially change the story. It just cleans up the writing "zits" that distract from the face of my work.
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Re: Are you ready to edit?

Post by willow on Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:54 pm

lol!!! I love that! Cleaning up the zits is the best term I've heard in a long time Laughing
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Re: Are you ready to edit?

Post by Garmar on Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:05 pm

It just cleans up the writing "zits" that distract from the face of my work.
LOL! You do have a way with words, Dean.

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Re: Are you ready to edit?

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:55 am

I think my story has been eating waayy to much candy and pastries!
Great expression!

CS

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