Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another great blog post from Nathan Bransford…

I read Nathan Bransford's blog almost every day and think he is one of the better agents putting out information for us aspiring types. Today, he talked about what to look for in revisions, but I also think that it might be useful to think about some of these things while you're writing…

Nathan Bransford-Literary Agent

Revision Checklist

- Does the main plot arc initiate close enough to the beginning that you won't lose the reader?

- Does your protagonist alternate between up and down moments, with the most intense towards the end?

- Are you able to trace the major plot arcs throughout the book? Do they have up and down moments?

- Do you have enough conflict?

- Does the reader see both the best and worst characteristics of your main characters?

- Do your characters have backstories and histories? Do these impact the plot?

- Is the pacing correct for your genre? Is it consistent?

- Is your voice consistent? Is it overly chatty or sarcastic?

- Is the tense completely consistent? Is the perspective consistent?

- Is there sufficient description that your reader feels grounded in the characters' world?

- Is there too much description? (David R. Slayton)

- Are momentous events given the weight they deserve?

- Look closely at each chapter. If you can take out a chapter and the plot will still make sense, is it really necessary? Should some events be folded in with others?

- Do the relationships between your characters develop and change and become more complicated as the book goes on?

- What do your characters want? Is it apparent to the reader? Do they have both conscious and unconscious motivations?

- Do you know what your writing tics are? Do you overuse adverbs, metaphors, facial expressions, non-"said" dialogue tags, or interjections? Have you removed them?

- Do you overuse certain words or phrases? Is your word choice perfect throughout?

- Does your book come to a completely satisfying conclusion? Does it feel rushed?

- Do your main characters emerge from the book irrevocably changed?

- Are your characters distinguishable? Does it make sense to combine minor characters? (Kiersten)


Colleen said...

Sounds like a good list of questions? When are you going to apply it and put out some more chapters of your book?!? You are leaving me hanging! Guess who Jared and I saw the other day at the theater? Kristen Comarrell(sp?). Man that was awkward.

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