Friday, December 29, 2017

Nonfiction Checklist Editing Workshop

  1. Does your opening involve a person experiencing an event? If not, do you have such a scene elsewhere that would be a better opening?
  2. Is there something visual on each page, something for the reader to imagine?
  3. In an article, does the action build to a climax or make point after point on a plateau?
  4. In a book, does the end of each chapter point toward the next?
  5. Have you summarized material that could make interesting scenes?
  6. Have you raised questions and then delayed answering them to create suspense?
  7. Does the piece reverberate with other times, other places, or other people?
  8. Have you consciously tried to create stress in your reader?
  9. Could the weakest segment of the piece be cut or condensed?
  10. Have you eliminated most adjectives, adverbs, and repetitive phrases?
  11. Have you cut all clichés? “Say it new or say it straight.”
  12. Have you replaced similes and metaphors that are tired or strained?
  13. Have you padded the piece with description?
  14. Have you used fiction techniques to characterize the people you mention?
  15. Can you convert any sentence to a question to arouse curiosity?
  16. Have you used short sentences and small paragraphs to create a fast pace?

Adapted from Stein on Writing by Sol Stein.

Posted by Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Amazon  Ms. Toby Fesler Heathcotte

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