Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Three Edit Passes

Three Edit Passes

1. Content Revision
2. Style and Readability
3. Mechanics

Today I'm reviewing my notes. I thought I'd share this outline of an excellent text describing the edit process. (I wish I had noted the author, so I could give credit. I'll just hope I don't get sued.)

I'll share pass two and three in a subsequent post

CONTENT REVISON

Goal: Translate the dream so the reader can share it

----Clarity
- Goals
- Needs
- Motivation
- Obstacles

---- Opening hook
Draw in the reader and attract agents’ attention
- Illuminate what is at stake

--- WITPOTS – What Is The Point Of This Scene
- Develop character
- Contribute to conflict, plot, action
- Portray new information
- “Oh shit” moments (interesting, satisfying elements)

--- Pull the reader into the scene
- Immediacy—avoid narrative blocks (interruption in flow)
- Appeal to senses—a little goes a long way;
must fit scene/POV character and her interest
- Detail—should reveal character
Remove the “thought”/ “knew” / “realized” phrases
- No agent/editor/reader ever says, “It’s okay to change POV”

--- Characters
- Stay "in character" unless intense motivation
- Needs weaknesses, flaws
- Be wary of introducing character surprises
(i.e., learn friendly character dying in chapter 3)
Reader may not forgive you
- Remove unnecessary characters
Every character must have a goal in plot

--- Dialog
- Must entail conflict
- Must build upon tension
- Do not copy identical style—we use inconsequential things in
our REAL conversations that should be left out

--- Tone
- Must be consistent throughout novel—stay true to the “contract
with the reader” or reader will not forgive you
- “Breathers” are ok

--- Ending
- Should be natural to all that came before
- Tie up loose ends
- Some questions can remain unanswered
to leave the reader something to think about
- Tie up plot threads

Write everyday!

Regards,
Mac
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