Manuscript Feedback

How do you take high level comments and use them  to improve work? #writetip Early on, I received feedback from my agent, Margaret Hart, telling me the pacing near the end of my first novel slowed down. I hadn’t been able to see it until she pointed it out. Afterward, it was obvious.

So how was I going to fix it?

I reviewed each scene and asked myself, did I really (and I mean REALLY) need the scene. Just because I liked it was not a good enough reason. If it didn’t move the plot forward, reveal something, develop a character, I deleted it. That was hard. By then end my novel went for 86,000 works to 80,000, but the story is tighter.

For the remaining scenes, I reviewed first and last lines. Get in late, leave early.

I studied the narrative. Did I need the description? Was the place I described important to the story. If yes, I kept the details. If no, I either removed them or shortened them.

If you have thoughts on how to ” pick up the pace”, I’d love to hear them.

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2 thoughts on “Manuscript Feedback

  1. Interestingly enough, I just went through a novel with the same aim. To pick up the pace. Same agent, too! I find your tips on how you worked ,matched a lot of what I did. I also had a friend who wanted to read this novel, so I said she could read it in manuscript form if she was willing to comment as she went along. She did so and it helped me to edit parts and add or take out when she had questions. It helped also to hear what she really liked. That’s not very specific as a suggestion except to say a reader-friend can be a good companion when gong through yet another revision..Of course, not just anyone, but I think we usually know who that might be. In this case, the offer came just when it was most helpful to me. I’m loathe to ask busy people, but when a busy person offered I considered it fortunate and fortuitous.

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