Questions to Consider While Revising Your Manuscript 

The story’s finished. The last sentence has been written. You’ve been on an emotional, wild ride, or through a thrilling, life-changing experience, or a combination of both. Now comes either the best part (for some) or the worst part (for others) of completing the first draft of your manuscript.

Revising.

Revising for grammar, content, scenes, clarity, tone, and so much more. All of it can feel overwhelming, especially after you’ve just spent so much time constructing the story. But it’s also the most rewarding. As you’re working through both the large-picture ideas of your story and the nitty-gritty details, there are some questions to consider that will highlight the main issues of your story.

GENERAL STRUCTURE

What is the story about?

What is the driving force behind the narrative?

How is the story working? Are there any parts that feel unconvincing or where the narrative drags?

Who is the audience?

How quickly do I become immersed in the story? Are there any points where my immersion is broken, or I lose interest?

How satisfying is the ending?

Are there parts I don’t understand?

Does the story start in the right place?

WRITING STYLE

What are my biggest writing challenges and how are they affecting the story?

Is the story idea developed enough?

Are my scenes well-written? What does each scene add to the story?

Are my expectations realistic at this point?

If nothing else, remember this: the first draft is for making a story exist, the second draft is for making the story functional, and the third draft is for making the story effective. The important thing is to enhance the story’s impact and comprehensibility for the reader. Revising can be exhausting, but take a breath, step away from your work, and remember why you fell in love with writing the story to begin with, allowing that passion to drive your revisions.

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