59 Revising Questions

Hey Reader,

This is kind of a different post… a good different. I think.

So I felt like writing out some questions for myself when editing. I thought I would share these revising questions with you all, too. That’s what I’m here for, right? These definitely don’t cover everything that comes with editing, but it’s still a lot. A lot to think about.

Here’s my challenge for you: Read through these. Say your answers out loud and find something in your novel to support your answer. If you don’t like your answer, write it down. Make a list of things you still need to change and fix in your future drafts. Maybe come back towards the end of your editing process and go through these again. They’ve helped me and I hope they help you.

When you are reading through them it might feel like an interrogation… but it’s worth it.

There are 59 of them, so buckle up and grab a pen. This might take a little bit of time… Why 59? Why not 60? Well, I’m a writer. I’ve got to keep it interesting.

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Writer’s Instinct

Hey Reader,

Have you ever written something that just makes you cringe? And not in a good way, I mean. Not like a good fight scene or the anticipation of something bad happening. Those scenes should be worthy of a cringe.

I mean something in your writing that you don’t like, that you don’t want others to read because you could have done it better. Every writer has this at some point, if not all of the time. For me, I am constantly changing things about my drafts because they make me cringe like that.

It’s like a writer’s instinct. Like we have this radar for things in our writing that aren’t good. Things that shouldn’t be there. Like we can only see the mistakes in the story and not the things we should be proud of.

Sometimes. Other times we are just full of ourselves. It comes with the territory.

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Organizing the Story

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This is something that I’ve put a lot of thought into in the second draft of my novel. This draft was mainly about fixing a lot of the problems and plot holes that I could find in the story, and figuring out how to tell it more effectively. I was originally going to focus on developing my characters more and elaborating on the ideas and pictures I originally wrote about. But I realized that in order to do that, I have to be sure about the way I’m telling the story and the foundation of the story itself.

So today we’re going to talk about chapters. Chapters and parts and the order in which you tell your story. I’ve talked about this a few times throughout my blog, but I think it deserves its own post.

The way stories are divided up may vary. You can have short chapters or long ones. You can tell it through different perspectives so that the reader might know more than the characters. You can tell it through first, second, or third person perspective, with variations within those categories, of course. You can alternate between these choices. You can come up with a unique way to tell the story.

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Life Experience

Hey Reader,

You know when you don’t know what to write and people say, “Write what you know”? Yeah, I’m kind of starting to understand that. But writing doesn’t have to be about getting what you know and what you’ve experienced out into the world for others to see. It can be about you learning and experiencing something new.

But I am starting to get it. In my book there is a car crash, and I didn’t have much trouble writing that scene because it was emotional and for some reason I find emotional scenes easier. I don’t know why. Maybe I read too many dramatic books.

Who am I kidding? You can never read too many books.

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Fahrenheit 451

Hey Reader,

Merry Christmas! Today’s the last day of our book review and tips… day ten of ten. I like writing things like this, but I think I’m better at going into more relatable problems in writing.

Since I’m editing, this was sort of way to go back and check on all of our stories. By looking at things in successful books, we can see if we are doing something wrong. And remember, just because we might do something differently from all of those successful and famous authors doesn’t mean it is wrong. It’s just different. And that’s good.

That’s why we write. To make us happy. And most of the time it isn’t fun if we are just copying others in order to make our stories better. 

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Parallel Journeys

Hey Reader,

I read Parallel Journeys by Eleanor Ayer in middle school as a summer reading assignment, and back then I didn’t really appreciate it as much as I should have, but now I can see how this is a prime example for writing tips. Now, I see how genius it is and actually want to reread it.

This is a historical novel, taking place during World War II. The story is 912132told through the perspectives of two different people, and is actually a true story. Born just miles away from each other, Helen Waterford and Alfons Heck live very different lives. Helen is a German Jew, and is sent off to Auschwitz extermination camp, and Alfons is a high-ranking soldier in the Hitler Youth, ready to fight (and die) for Hitler and the Nazi movement. The story leads through both of their lives, up until after the war when they publicly met. These two perspectives show what it was like during the war from both sides, and how they saw each other.

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13 Reasons Why

Hey Reader,

Can you believe that this is book 8 out of 10 for writing tips? We’re almost done, and then back to normal writing posts! I’ve had so much fun reviewing these books and pulling tips from them… I’ve actually gotten into a habit of making mental notes about writing while I pleasure-read. It’s a writer thing. And a nerdy thing.

I’m proud of it. But it also drives me a little crazy. There’s no off switch for us writers… always at work!

Today’s book choice for writing tips is 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book is really deep… like seriously deep. It kept me on the edge of my seat and takes a different approach to telling a tragic story.

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The Hunger Games

Hey Reader,

Yes, I picked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It has a ton of great writing tips in it, and even four or so years after it came out, it is still extremely popular. When I first read it, I actually read the entire trilogy in three days, not stopping to do anything else. The story was amazing, of course, or I wouldn’t be using it for tips. Overall, Collins definitely hit the jackpot with this one.

2767052I’m sure you know what this book is about, so I’ll keep my description brief. This is a dystopian novel that features Panem, a nation made up of a rich capitol and twelve districts that provide and are left starving with only the bare minimum to survive. These districts are reminded of the uprisings nearly 74 years ago with the Hunger Games. Each district reaps a boy and girl between 12 and 18 to fight to the death in an arena for the capitol’s entertainment, and the winning district gets food.

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The City of Bones

Hey Reader,

Today’s book for writing tips is The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. This book is young adult fantasy, but it isn’t overdone. It isn’t some kind of repeat of every vampire love story or magic school. Honestly, the story captivated me from the beginning and I loved the development of the characters and world.

I actually am kind of obsessed with this series. I can relate to the characters and the plot twists are surprising. Even if I see one coming, it still finds a way to surprise me.

The City of Bones takes place in modern day NYC, where there is a whole downloadother world behind what we see as normal. Shadow hunters, who hunt and kill demons, can’t be seen by the mortal eye. Clary is the main character, a teenager living with her mom, and soon enough she begins to see the shadow hunters, discovering that her memories were tampered with and that her entire past is part of this other world. Her mother is taken by someone who is feared more than anything in this world, and she joins the shadow hunters to get her back and defeat this dangerous guy–Valentine. And he is a huge part of Clary’s past, too.

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The Fault In Our Stars

Hey Reader,

Today’s book for writing tips is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. If you haven’t read this book, you need to. This book is one of the ones that have a unique part in my heart because it is so well written. And not just well written, the story. Oh my god, it’s such a great story.

The_Fault_in_Our_StarsTFIOS follows the love story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has cancer, and Augustus Waters, who lost his leg to cancer. They meet in an adorably awkward cancer support group meeting, and I can’t tell you how beautiful this story is. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and it makes you appreciate life all that much more.

A lot more happens in the book, but you have to read it to find out. I’m telling you. It’s worth it.

 

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