Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. Today is the second post of this new series, and I’m very excited to be part of it.
This is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.
To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!
I’ll focus this entire series on self-editing. The first blog in my series covers Why Learn To Self-Edit.
Today, let’s talk about characters in the context of editing.
Why do people read novels?
I think it’s to find out what happens next. But what happens next is only interesting if it the “what happens next” involves characters or something that is important to a character.
Characters ARE your story. They act and react. They create emotion. They show motivation. Without any of this, you don’t have a story. That’s a tall order for your characters. So how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of them?
You rewrite and revise until your characters are performing at their best.
Taking on the task of rewriting your first draft doesn’t have to be overwhelming. A little bit of organization will help you complete your rewrite without it taking forever.
Characters and Novel Structure
You’ve finished your first draft, so most likely you know who your characters are, what they look like, where they work and so on. But what about how they fit into your story structure? To understand this and make the most of it, you must evaluate your characters in the context of the structure of your novel.
By this point, you’ll also know if you’re writing from first person point of view (POV) or third person. You’ve also decided if you are writing from multiple points of view. In essence, you know who is telling your story. Feedback will help you keep track of POV and how you balance your POV scenes throughout the novel.
When thinking about the POV character for each scene, ask yourself:
- What is the POV goal for the scene?
- How does the goal relate to the plot?
- What or who is working against the POV goal?
- What happens if your POV doesn’t achieve the goal?
- How does scene affect your POV character?
Once you’ve answered the questions, check each scene to ensure the reader will understand the answers. You can show, tell, or imply the answers. It’s up to you to find the right balance. The more important the event, the more you should show the reader what’s happening. The less important could be told quickly, so the reader can move on to the good stuff.
More Self-Editing Advice
If you’re looking for more help on self-editing download the free eBook, BIG-PICTURE Editing And The Key Elements Of Fiction and learn how big-picture editing is all about evaluating the major components of your story. We call these components the Key Elements Of Fiction. Our eBook shows you how to use the key elements of fiction to evaluate your story and become your own big-picture editor.
Interested In An Automated Approach To Big-Picture Self-Editing?
Feedback Innovations (which I happen to be the CEO of) is building the Feedback app .
Feedback is the first web app to help fiction writers evaluate their own work with a focus on story, not words.
With Feedback, you can focus on plot, character, and setting. You can evaluate on a scene-by-scene basis or on overall novel structure. Feedback will show you the most important structural elements to work on first.
Feedback will guide you through the rewriting process by asking you questions specific to your manuscript, enabling you to evaluate your own story.
Feedback helps you visualize your manuscript. Forget about yellow stickies or white boards. Feedback will draw character arcs, provide reports on scene evaluation, and show your rewriting progress.
Happy editing and thanks for reading…