Thursday, September 17, 2009

Editing Checklists

I'm back. I love vacations. Insomnia is flying along and I pulled almost no hair out when thinking about the requests I'm waiting on. Today I thought I'd talk a little more about editing.

Ever spend so much time editing that you begin to question your sanity?

Never fear, the checklist is here!

Final Editing Checklist (You should know the answers to every question before you can call your ms done.)

~ Is the voice passive or active
~ Is there a hook at the end of EVERY chapter/scene?
~ Is the setting full and complete without being superfluously descriptive.
~ Does the setting contribute to the story? Does it fit?
~ Does it tell or show?
~ Does it have illogical or unexplained POV shifting?
~ Does every character have a motivation? Do you know what they are?
~ Is the timeline consistent throughout?
~ Does the conflict use tension to propel the reader through the story?
~ Is there a balance of the Big 3? (Action, dialogue, and narrative)
~ Do you have a natural flow to the story?
~ Does anything push (or crash through) the boundaries of believability within your story?

These really help me when it comes to finding which point to focus on in my next edit. If you aren't comfortable with all of these areas--chances are you aren't done.

Now--who needs ice cream?


  1. Oy, I'm trying to finish revisions for my agent today. I HATE REVISING! Yes, ice cream would be lovely. :)

  2. Working on the hook and endings of each chapter. Ugh! I'll take a pistachio with chocolate peanut butter cup.

  3. It's unanimous. An ice cream party is definitely in order. :) BYFT (bring your favorite topping)

  4. You're back! Hope you had fun. :) And count me in on the ice cream.

  5. Since I'm in the middle of editing and revising, this check list is helpful. And, yes, I could really use some ice cream.

  6. Great list, Jenn. Thanks! Glad you're back.

  7. Ooh I'm in the midst of two revisions, and your list reminds me I've got SO-O-O much to do! Good points, though. Now I'd better get back to work...

  8. I'm all for the ice cream. We have 6 different kinds in my freezer: mango frozen yogurt, plain frozen yogurt, mint cookie, mint chip, chocolate, chocolate brownie. You choose. ;)

  9. I got butterflies in my stomach just reading your list. Gulp.


  10. Great list, even if it makes the sweat trickle down my back. :D

  11. Haha! Look at all you troopers. Hang in there through the edits. Think how sparkly your ms will be after you get through it all.

    *sending sparkles your way*