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.
Have fun 😉
- Are your characters bleeding into each other?
- Does each character have a purpose in the plot?
- Does your story follow a plot diagram?
- Are your chapters too long?
- Are your chapters too short?
- Is the story told in the most effective perspective(s) (1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
- Are all of the facts about the time period/place correct?
- Are all of the facts consistent?
- Are there any major plot problems that need to be fixed before further editing?
- Have you done thorough, reliable research on the details of the story?
- Are the experiences of your characters accurate?
- Does your description paint a thorough picture for your reader?
- Did you chose the right narrator to tell the story?
- Are the characters relatable?
- Are you okay with cliches, and if not, are there any to fix?
- Are there any gaps or lulls between your plot points?
- Do the characters evolve from the beginning to the end of the story?
- Is there a theme and is it expressed effectively?
- Is your word choice supporting the intended tone or mood?
- Are there any misspellings or grammatical errors?
- Do your first words capture the reader’s attention?
- Does the first three chapters back up the hook?
- Do your words have rhythm?
- Is the dialogue convincing and realistic?
- Do you use a word repeatedly or too many times to describe things?
- Is your story unique? (plot, characters, etc.)
- Will this story provoke emotion in the reader?
- Is the target audience too generalized or specific?
- Does the title hook the reader?
- Does the title effectively capture the story?
- Have you established a unique writing style?
- Is your plot captivating? (does it string the reader along?)
- Are the plot twists unexpected but still possible?
- Do you have a captivating synopsis and summary?
- Do character relationships move too quickly or slowly?
- Have you fixed any parts of the story that don’t fit?
- Is the description focused or emphasized in certain places to give the reader direction?
- Are there any plot points that are only used to fill up the story?
- Are there any plot points that could have more purpose to pushing the story forward?
- Have you put 110% into this story?
- Is the story written to its full potential?
- Is the length of the novel appropriate for your target audience?
- Does the writing and word choice fit your target audience?
- Do the subplots contribute to the overall plot?
- Do you consider this to be your best work?
- Is symbolism effectively used in the story?
- Is anything you put in the story already copyrighted? (company names, song lyrics, fonts, quotes, etc.) If you use it would it be plagiarism?
- If the story or a character is based off of someone, have you gotten their permission to release that personal information? Or have you used fake names and fake places?
- Do the characters’ backstories contribute to the story?
- Have you used flashbacks and memories to their full potential?
- Have you considered using your real name or a pseudonym?
- Have you reread the final draft for mistakes?
- Have you had someone else proofread it?
- Is there anything in the story that you aren’t comfortable letting others read? Have you fixed that?
- Are the last words of the story leaving your reader with something to think about?
- Did you chose the right ending for the story?
- Is everything that could confuse the reader along the way explained clearly?
- If there are any cliffhangers at the end, do they come along with some kind of resolution?
- Are you happy with the final product?
I hope these helped you. I really enjoyed writing them. It made me think about the things I’ve still got to fix… but I like doing it in the format of questions. Maybe I’ll make more posts like this in the future. Questions for planning and outlining and writing… yeah. That will be fun.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!