I was going through my notes and came across these. They’re good for your WIP and for your blog articles.
Revision is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.
- Challenge every adverb.
- Challenge the whole first paragraph: Make sure it starts with action not narrator opinion.
- Challenge every line that you love – writer injecting his/her insight, wisdom, cleverness. Anything that you think is profound, sounds like poetry, esp. if it comes from the narrator rather than from the mouth of a character.
- Challenge every cliché – if you’ve heard it often, don’t use it. Even if it seems to speak with authority.
- Cut every dialogue tag (attrition) not necessary to tell who’s speaking. Only: he said, she said, they said, we said.
- Eliminate everything you’re not sure of. If you, the writer doubt it, the reader definitely will too.
- Read the draft aloud. Every sentence should flow without any word or phrase that interrupts the progress of the reader’s eye.
Fitzgerald said “Murder your darlings” – those turns of phrase or images of which you felt extra proud when they appeared on the page.- delete or change these.
Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones.
I hope this helps in polishing your WIP. I’m still on the stage right now of just getting it down but for those of you who like to rewrite while working the first draft this might be helpful. And it’s definitely good for those of you doing a rewrite.
What other tips do you have for revision? Do you use these for your blog articles?
You are the light of the world.
- Writing tips (christianreyes77.wordpress.com)
- Transition (laneymcmann.wordpress.com)
- Rewriting (writingsluts.wordpress.com)
- Reader Question: What are some key things to look for when rewriting a first draft? (gointothestory.com)