Friday, March 20, 2009

Again, too much time has passed since I last posted. All for good reasons though. The research on my new novel is mostly completed and the outlining process has begun. I'm also in the process of forming a record label with my wife and "other brother from another mother." So my time has been sapped.

I've gone back and am re-evaluating my first few chapters of the prior manuscript, looking to see if I can make them even better.

Along those lines, I found this advice over Feed Blitz and thought I'd share it with you all.

This is titled, "Advice on Revising From Your Peers," and falls nicely in with my Ten Point Revision Strategy. Let me know your thoughts on these pearls and if you find this useful.

"As you work your way through each scene in a novel ask yourself:
  • What is happening in this scene?
  • Why is it important?
  • Is it believable?
  • What is the conflict? Who wants what, and who or what won’t let them have it?
  • What does this scene contribute specifically and integrally to the plot? How does it drive it?
  • Can it be cut, partially or completely, and not effect the plot?
  • Can the integral part of the scene be folded into another scene, and the rest eliminated?
  • When does the scene occur?
  • Would the plot be better served if you moved the scene to another place in the unfolding of the story?
  • From whose point of view is this scene experienced?
  • How does this character contribute to the plot? Can another character do it so you can eliminate this one, or combine the two into one character?
  • Where is this person?
  • What is the POV character in the scene doing?
  • What is he/she feeling emotionally about what’s happening in the scene?
  • What is he/she feeling emotionally about things outside the scene?
  • What is he/she seeing? Hearing? Touching? Even smelling and tasting?
  • Can you exchange “he said”s and “she said”s with action?
  • Can you exchange passive verbs with active ones?
  • Can you exchange adverbs (“ly” words) with action?
  • What does each paragraph within the scene contribute? Can it be eliminated?
  • What does each sentence within the scene contribute? Can it be eliminated?


Meg said...

I ask myself the 'is it important?' one most often. If I'm at the point of actually asking that, it usually isn't.

Nice list. :)


Bradley M. Taylor said...

Dr. Todd...YOU ROCK DUDE!!!
The "is it important" is always UDE!!!important to the individual that is think it at that time....or they wouldn't have thought it in which case it would not have been important because it was not important enough for them to give it a consideration.
Thanks again Todd for all your help,
you truely are an inspiration, just wish you gave me a kick in the behind in 83 to join you down south in SD.

B-rad Taylor