Make your reader BELIEVE in your story and CARE about your characters
- Balance ACTION and DETAIL
- Give the reader a SENSORY experience: smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch
- Use EMOTION—what does character feel, and how does he/she react?
Keep the reader interested in your story
- Cut material that doesn’t belong (off topic? wrong kind of detail? out of character?)
- Cut unnecessary or repetitive parts, especially in high action. Essentials only!
- Add characterization: character’s reaction to events, body language, word choice, motivation, instincts, feelings and thoughts
- Where can you change a “tell” into a “show?”
Make your story flow
- Give reader a variety of experiences: mix setting, senses, thoughts, and dialog
- Replace clichés with original, creative ideas—no dark and stormy nights!
Avoid common mistakes
- Don’t let narrator tell reader something the character can’t know (POV violation)
- Replace “lazy” words (thing, something, very, really) with impactful words
- Make sure pronouns (she, he, it, that) refer to the correct noun
- Use a variety of sentence structures
- Watch for word echoes or “pet” words
Get ahead of the game
- Stay inspired & keep your ideas fresh
- Get a critical beta reader!
- Keep fresh eyes on your project
- Fact-check your research!
©Moriah Densley 03/19/15