Friday, December 29, 2017

Fiction Checklist Editing Workshop

  1. Do you show more than tell? Do you create a balance between scenes and narrative that is enjoyable to read?
  2. Do you display characters’ emotions through action and dialogue rather than  describe them in words such as angry or sullen?
  3. Do you introduce characters with a few imaginative details rather than a character summary?
  4. Do you establish characters thru action, interior monologue, and dialogue rather than describe them?
  5. Do you use back story sparingly, introducing it only when needed?
  6. Do you introduce setting with imaginative details, a bit at a time?
  7. Which point of view are you using and why? Is it consistent?
  8. Do you use interior monologue to show your characters’ thoughts and feelings? Do you avoid the words “he thought” and use italics sparingly in the I point of view?
  9. Is your narrative proportional, spending time on the most important elements?
  10. Does your dialogue sound natural when you read it aloud? Have you used word choice, cadence, and grammar to reflect dialect?
  11. Have you eliminated all “ly” words and paragraphs opening with a speaker attribution?
  12. Do you use “said” to clarify who is speaking or a beat of action to attribute dialogue to characters rather than unnecessary attributions, such as he snapped or she chuckled?
  13. Have you used ellipses for gaps and dashes for interruptions?
  14. Do you use beats between dialogue to illuminate character and make it unique?
  15. Do you vary the length of your paragraphs, your scenes, your chapters for variety and flow?
  16. Is your manuscript free of repetitions of phrases, ideas, and actions?
  17. Have you minimized “as” and “ing” constructions, clichés, explicit sex scenes, profanity?
  18. Have you used good grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation?

Adapted from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne and Dave King     

Posted by Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Amazon  Ms. Toby Fesler Heathcotte

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