Let’s face it, we all need to revise. Whether we’re editing a short story or reworking that novel, there is always plenty of editing to do. Writing is really about rewriting and revision.  These revising tips can help.

-Does the main plot arc initiate close enough to the beginning that you won’t lose the reader?

– Does your protagonist alternate between up and down moments, with the most intense towards the end?

– Are you able to trace the major plot arcs throughout the book? Do they have up and down moments?

– Do you have enough conflict?

– Does the reader see both the best and worst characteristics of your main characters?

– Do your characters have backstories and histories? Do these impact the plot?

– Is the pacing correct for your genre? Is it consistent?

– Is your voice consistent? Is it overly chatty or sarcastic?

– Is the tense completely consistent? Is the perspective consistent?

– Is there sufficient description that your reader feels grounded in the characters’ world?

– Is there too much description?

– Are momentous events given the weight they deserve?

– Look closely at each chapter. If you can take out a chapter and the plot will still make sense, is it really necessary? Should some events be folded in with others?

– Do the relationships between your characters develop and change and become more complicated as the book goes on?

– What do your characters want? Is it apparent to the reader? Do they have both conscious and unconscious motivations?

– Do you know what your writing tics are? Do you overuse adverbs, metaphors, facial expressions, non-“said” dialogue tags, or interjections? Have you removed them?

– Do you overuse certain words or phrases? Is your word choice perfect throughout?

– Does your book come to a completely satisfying conclusion? Does it feel rushed?

– Do your main characters emerge from the book irrevocably changed?

– Are your characters distinguishable? Does it make sense to combine minor characters?

– Do each of your scenes make dramatic sense on their own as well as move the overall plot forward?