Checklist to Use when Revising your Manuscript

I’ve just finished reading Jessica Page Morrell’s book, Thanks, But this Isn’t for Us. It’s a “sort of” compassionate guide to why your (my) writing is being objected.  Let me just say that this is a huge book with all kinds of information in it that will improve your manuscript.  I’ve seen some of the information elsewhere but some was new to me.  Also, Morrell is really edgy and sarcastic, which I like.  But maybe you don’t–

Here’s her checklist for a first revision.  After you’ve written the first draft, use this to help you as you revise:

1.  is the plot resolved?

2.  is each scene necessary to tell the story?  Can it be cut without affecting the main story?

3.  does each action cause more actions and reactions?

4.  evaluate the order of your scenes–is this the right time to include this action or should it wait?

5.  is your time line consistent?

6.  do you need to add twists and complication to the plot if it bogs down, especially in the middle?

7.  is description dispersed in small increments throughout and, if possible, coming through a character’s viewpoint?

8.  do you need to add flashbacks so the characters’ motivations and goals make sense?

9.  do the flashbacks contain action or are they mostly summary?

10.  do you need to strengthen or add subplots?

from pg. 276

Tune in tomorrow and I’ll share her checklist for the second revision.

As a side note, she’s just written a book called Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches:  How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction.  Gotta love that title!

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