The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ten Things To Remember When Rewriting

Ten Things To Remember when Rewriting

This week, my editor Betsy Mitchell will send me the manuscript for “Great Sky Woman” for me to check copyediting and make last-minute revisions.  Because it was so tardy going in, I need to do this all in two weeks. 

The most important things I’ll be addressing are:
Is the  dialogue “voice” of all characters distinctive and individual?  Does it reflect their world view?

2) Does every scene  function to comment on the major theme of the book?  

Does every page engage at least two senses?

Are my male and female POV’s balanced?  Since this is one of the book’s themes, I’d better the heck have that covered!

Are my action scenes vivid and real? 

Is there any anachronistic language?  Set in the Upper Paleolithic, it would be easy to remember that there are no domesticated animals, and have someone saying that X or Y has a “cheesy” consistency.  Unless that cheese was from mother’s milk… Nah.

Is there a flow of humorous, dangerous, loving, earthy and spiritual scenes?  In other words, am I addressing the full spectrum of human emotions and responses?

Is the poetic potential of the language raised to my current level of ability?  Polish, polish, polish.

Is there lazy, unimaginative description?

Is this the book I wanted to write?  How is it different?  Are those positive or negative changes?

There’s more, but these are the first to roll off my fingers.  What an adventure this book has been!  If I do the material justice, it’s gonna be wonderful.  If not, I have no one to blame but me.  Back to work!

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