I’m all about passing on what I learn as I continue on my writing journey and this is one of the biggest tip I’ve kept in the back of my head for years since reading it. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten the author who said this but I do remember this almost simplistic way of editing scenes from your manuscript that he talked about. As you sit editing ask yourself if the scene will enhance or hinder your storyline. Now every time I edit my work I question the purpose of that scene, character, etc and if it’s not guiding the story along I take it out.
I came across this website The Other Side Of The Story and I read the post First Look At A First Draft. First off the site is the best writing resource site I’ve seen in a minute. It’s informative, easy to navigate thru, a plethora (yes I said plethora) of links, interviews, resources and advice for whatever level of writing you’re in.
Anywho, this particular post was about what questions you should be asking yourself when editing that manuscript. This will prevent you from having that urge to keep every bit of your manuscript because you think the story would be terrible without it; the quicker you get over the realization that you can’t keep everything the better off you will be.
- What are they trying to do? (Meaning your characters or the purpose of the plot)
- What goes wrong? (A story can’t be good if nothing happens)
- What do they do about it? (Don’t make things so obviously predictable. A reader wants to escape their reality, being bland will send them quicker to bed)
- Why does this matter? (If your story is still exciting after you delete that scene then you’re good)
Great advice! As a writer you don’t want to be that ‘writer’ that thinks you know it all especially if you have not published a damn thing. There are always things you can improve on with your craft so get off your high horse. Have fun writing!
Peace and luv!
- Editing – Personally and Professionally (genesedavis.com)
- Committing to Manuscript Improvement (writesbymoonlight.wordpress.com)