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21 self-editing tips

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I am relieved to see that there was nothing new in his list!


I have read Wright Tight by Brohaugh several times, and most of these (and many more) are in that book.


Some additional things on my checklist include: 


  - Check all chapter beginnings and endings. Do they sing?

  - Does one chapter flow into the next? 

  - If the transition is abrupt, is there a good reason? Suspense because you left the protagonist hanging off a cliff and are not lettingthe reader know what happens next just yet? Shock?

  - Are any chapters too long or short?

  - Are any critical story elements too long or short or missing altogether? (I was once critiquing a romance novel and the "first kiss" scene was too short.)

  - Are there any long sections with no dialogue?

  - With no narrative?

  - With dialogue but no beats (i.e. "talking heads")? 

  - Did I break any promises? The beginning of each story makes a promise to the reader that a certain kind of story is being told, a certain problem needs to be solved, etc. Did I violate this contract?

  - Did I wrap up every subplot, leaving unresolved only what I intended to leave unresolved?

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