It took months, possibly
years, but the words are on the page.

You have written a book!

Now comes the hard part. Now comes…

The Nightmare that is Your Second Draft

 

It can seem that overwhelming. But, I’m here to help. This website is full of tips and techniques to improve your writing – whether you are a beginner or published author.

Here are 19 things to study in your writing as you revise your original draft. Tick them off the list. They are all important and every good story contains each of these elements. These are just the basics. I’ll be delving deeper into each of them as time progresses.

In no particular order:

  1. Does the plot make sense? If not, what’s wrong with it?
  2. Are there plot holes? How can they be fixed?
  3. Are the MC’s goals clear? Do the rising actions and
    inciting incidents relate directly to the achievement of this goal?
  4. Are the obstacles/conflicts realistic?
  5. Is the pacing good, or does it lag? Where/how can it be
    improved?
  6. Are the characters well developed and have arcs?
  7. Does the POV work? Is there head hopping? Find solutions.
  8. Do you have any emotional attachment to a character or
    empathy?
  9. Is the dialogue good?
  10. Have you used dialogue and internal thoughts to flesh out
    the characters?
  11. Do description and setting ground the story? Are all five
    senses used effectively?
  12. Does the story have a beginning, middle and ending?
  13. Is the narrative coherent, cohesive and concise?
  14. Does the style work for the piece?

All of the above are meant to help you
improve the overall content of your writing. Here are a few that get
you looking closer at your wording:

  1. Do you use strong verbs rather than adding adverbs? The
    same for nouns – are there too many adjectives? Improve on your verb
    and noun word choices.
  2. Is the punctuation correct? Correct it as you read through
    the pages. Don’t worry too much about this one right now. It becomes
    more important later.
  3. What words/phrases/sentences aren’t needed? Which ones need
    embellishment?
  4. In what ways can you make your writing more concise?
  5. Cut, cut, cut.

Here’s a link to 43 words you should cut from your writing:
http://dianaurban.com/words-you-should-cut-from-your-writing-immediately
I’d love to get your feedback on what you think of these tips. Maybe
you have one or two you’d like to share. Leave your comments below –
let’s see how many more tips we can accumulate. Feel free to ask any
questions, as well.
Try not to stress during the editing process. There’s help out there.
This is a good place to start.