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Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Writer's Work Is Never Done!

As far as I know, no one's work is perfect the first time around. A good writer knows they have to revise and rework their pieces before they will be acceptable. Will they ever be perfect? I don't think there is such a thing. I read stuff that I have gotten published and I still see things that could be revised. A writer's work is never done, it seems.

So what do you look for when you have to edit your story before sending it out? Here are some things that I would work on. Feel free to add your own ideas here.

  • Does my opening scene grab the readers attention? Have I included important elements that my readers need to know in order to continue with the story? Are my characters introduced properly?
  • Have I used too much passive voice or do my verbs show action?
  • Are my sentences of varying lengths?
  • Is my imagery effective? Have I provided enough "seeing" that my readers can picture what I'm talking about?
  • Does my dialogue sound natural and smooth? Have I used dialect that halts the speech patterns of my characters?
  • Do my scene transitions flow into one another?
  • Have I cut all unnecessary words or cliches?
  • Is my ending conclusive and believable? Have I given the reader a complete story and left nothing lacking?
  • Is my manuscript formatted properly?
  • Have I proofed and run a spell check?

1 comment:

  1. All excellent ideas. I have found critiquing to be almost invaluable at this stage of my writing. Feedback is very important if you expect to actually publish anything good these days.

    The characters being interesting...ah yes, how could I forget that one? That is indeed an important part of storytelling. Who wants to read a story of boring characters that don't do anything? :-)

    And, Stewart, I used to frequent Ralans, but not so much these days. I didn't have Duotrope on
    my list, but thanks to you mentioning it, I now have a new resource.