Revision Checklist

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham

“Poetry lurks in simple language. Great story does, too. You don’t need big words or tangled phrasings or clever stunting to convey beautiful and profound ideas. In subsequent drafts, seek clarity. Be forthright in your language. Clarity and confidence are king in writing, and the revision process is when you highlight this. Write with strength. Write to be understood. That doesn’t mean “no metaphors.” It just means, “metaphors whose beauty exists in their simplicity.”
Chuck Wendig

Ah, the joys of wandering the Web! Somehow, I came across a “25 Things” series of very useful articles by the novelist Chuck Wendig. While Chuckie’s language can be a bit ripe, he has some great advice on his site: One of his articles focused on revision and provided a very useful list of things to look for when working over a first draft. Since I’m heavily into my YA novel revision, this list really caught my eye. It seems very useful, so I’m passing it on:

Things to look for when revising

• Awkward, unclear language
• Malapropisms
• Punctuation abuse
• A lack of variety in sentences
• A lack of variety in the structure of the page
• Plot holes
• Inconsistencies
• Passive language
• Wishy-washy writing
• Purple prose
• An excess of adverbs
• Bad or broken formatting
• Clichés
• Wobbly tense and/or point of view
• Redundant language
• Run-on sentences
• Sentence fragments

Wow, I love this list! I’m going to use it to check over my revisions — and hope you find it helpful, too. If you do, please let me know. And write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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