Read your story and make note of the following:
1. What is the central interest of the story: a character; an event; the setting?
Is this the best focus for the story?
2. Mark the parts of the story that you like and those parts that don’t feel right.
Make a note of your immediate thoughts about the ‘wrong’ sections.
Concentrate on these sections in your re-visioning.
3. Find one phrase or sentence on each page that you like. Nice work!
4. Write down what the PLOT of your story is in no more than THREE sentences.
What events have you left out?
Are they important?
Is the story actually in the events left out?
1. What is each character doing in the story?
2. Are all of your characters necessary to the story?
3. Can you combine two characters into one, giving the same effect?
For example, if you have three friends in the story, could two of them be joined,
placing their individual characteristics into one person?
4. Is one character overworked; does the story need another character?
5. Are the characters individuals with unique personalities and qualities?
6. Are all of the characters either likeable or unpleasant?
Would the story benefit from a mixture of characters?
7. Is one character the focus? Should they be? Should some background characters be
brought forward in the story?
8. Consider the names of your characters; do they ADD to the character?
1. Who is telling the story?
Do they have the most knowledge about the events in the story?
Are they reliable (truthful)?
2. Consider the story from the POV of each of the characters; who would tell the story best?
1. Do you have dialogue in your story? If not, where can some be added?
Remember, dialogue is ACTIVE writing.
2. Look at your dialogue: is it effective in conveying meaning?
Is it useful in moving the story towards the climax?
3. Look at attributions: are they clumsy or discreet (not noticeable to the reader).
4. Punctuation is IMPORTANT.
Incorrect punctuation changes meaning; make sure you’ve got it right.
5. MOST IMPORTANT: read your dialogue aloud.
Does it sound natural?
1. Does your description ADD to the story?
Does it reveal an aspect of your character/s?
Does it evoke a setting, or create a feeling?
2. Are there places in the story where you can employ the five senses?
Adapted from The Writing Book by Kate Grenville (2010)