When do you start revising your novel? I start by revising the first draft of my novel’s plot outline, synopsis or treatment.
Revise Early and Late
As soon as I’ve written the first sketchy outlines of a novel, I’m revising. I’m looking for many things:
- Does the climax resolve the setup?
- Are the main characters together in a big scene at the climax?
- Is there a good inciting incident? What opening scene would catch reader’s attention?
- Are there places for the characters to grow and change?
- Could I think of better settings, places that will resonate better with the story?
- What conflicts run through the whole story?
- Can I give my MC more problems to overcome?
- Are there subplots that could support the main plot in interesting variations on a theme?
- Does the middle sag? How could I structure the story to heighten the tension all the way through?
- Does the ending have an interesting twist?
- What character has the most at stake emotionally? Can I use THAT character as the viewpoint and/or main character?
- Do I know the backstory , the events that took place before the opening scene? Can I plan to put that very late in the story?
- What character interactions are possible within this story?
- Can I write a timeline of each character and pinpoint scenes which help the character change?
- Any great places in the plot for action sequences?
In short, I’m looking at all the elements that usually need revision after I write the first draft and doing a Novel Diagnosis. But on my WIP, I’ve tried to work smarter and do the critque even earlier in the process — right after I wrote the three page synopsis of the plot.
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