Draft Check List
______ Print out story in different font
______ Read story once without markings
______ Read story again this time mark it up, describe why changes needed /how you’ll do it
______ Make a list of ‘set ups’ with page number and list ‘pay off’ with page number.
Ex: talk about a pool table, and then use it in a later scene
______ Rank the worst scenes, throw out the #1 rank and work the others in order (Bell)
______ Gather all opening paragraphs. Are they varied? If not change.
______ Gather all ending paragraphs. Do they make you want to read more?
______ Digraph dialogue. Is there a sense of tension? Purpose? (Bell)
______ Cut out character thoughts, instead show how they feel.
______ Describe one thing in the room, not the whole room (Bell)
______ Describe each main character without saying what they look like or what they do.
Can’t then they are flat and need fixing. (Star Wars)
______ Make/print out calendar for the story. Check dates.
______ Are minor characters interesting. Make them unique and add to the drama of story
______ List the themes. Do the threads carry throughout the story?
______ Check that each chapter flows onto the next in a logical order
______ Skip around in the book. Does every part feel like it’s written by the same person?
______ Have fun
I just printed off my novel and stuck it in my desk to be forgotten. So while waiting for the time to pass I devised a checklist to help with all the revisions. A lot of these I’ve taken from James Scott Bell and his Revision and Self Editing for Publication book. His book was such a pleasure to read, and I got so many tips from it. Another tip I got from listening to Julie and her youtube video on the topic. The Star Wars one about being able to describe a character by not what they look like or what they do is from another youtube video by redlettermedia. I hope that, perhaps, this checklist might help someone else out.