10 Benefits of Feedback for Big-Picture Editing – Feedback For Fiction

One of our early testers asked: “How will Feedback help my manuscript?”

What a great question!  It made me think about a better way to explain the benefits of using Feedback and becoming your own big-picture editor.  Read on for my answer. I hope this helps you think about your manuscript in new ways!

 

Feedback can identify and help you fix problems within your manuscript by focusing on the structure of your story, not on the words. Some of the critical structural areas are:

  1. Pacing                 
  2. Character names and appearances
  3. Point of view characters and goals
  4. Story arc
  5. Plot holes (scenes without a clear purpose)
  6. Flow from scene to scene
  7. Absence of tension or conflict
  8. Empty stage syndrome
  9. Confusing timelines or missing objects

 

The 10th benefit of using Feedback comes from the built-in Rewrite Tips. These tips provide you with specific advice on the area of the manuscript you are working on just when you need it! No more endless searching for writing advice.

 

1. Pacing

Problem: The pacing is not working in your novel. The story is too slow or too fast.

Knowing your word count per scene helps you control the pacing in your novel. Sometimes you want to slow down the story, using the time to build tension and suspense. Sometimes you want quick action to drive the story forward. Use longer scenes to slow the pacing and shorter scenes to speed it up.

The word count per scene insight lets you quickly visualize the pacing.


2. Character Names and Appearances

Problem: Your readers are telling you they don’t feel a connection with your characters or they are confused by your characters’ names

Scenes Per Character and Cast of Characters help you visualize all your character names to ensure you don’t have too many characters per scene and that your main characters are getting enough time in your novel.

When you can see the cast of characters in one place, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to see if character names are too similar.

 

 


3. Point Of View (POV) Characters and Goals

Problem 1: You’re not sure if you’re giving the right number of scenes to your POV characters or if you’re using them in the best order for dramatic effect.

Problem 2: Your characters don’t have strong goals that drive the story forward.

See how many POV characters you have and what order they appear in. You control who is telling the story. Everything that happens in a scene should occur through the eyes of the POV character. The reader will connect with the POV characters if you don’t have too many. The reader will also get to know your POV characters by how they experience the scene. The longer a reader spends with each POV character, the more time they have to like or dislike them.

 

You can see the Point of View character goals per scene and ensure your characters have strong goals in every scene that drive the story forward. The novel shown is written from one point of view. Multiple points of view can be shown too.

 

 


4. Story Arc

Problem: Your readers don’t stay engaged for the entire story. Are your key scenes in the correct place? The story arc will show you where the inciting incident, plot points, and climax should be. You’ll be able to place these key scenes for the highest dramatic effect.

 

This story arc shows my work in progress on Evolution (my latest novel), along with several of the character entry and exit points overlaid.

 

 

 

5. Plot Holes (scenes without a clear purpose)

 

Problem: Some scenes cause plot holes by not being connected to the story.

 

This usually means the scene doesn’t have a purpose. If you don’t know the purpose of each scene in your novel neither will your reader, and you most likely have a plot hole.

 


 

6. Flow

Problem: Readers stop reading at the end of a scene or at the beginning of the next scene.

How do you open and close each scene? What are the entry and exit hooks? The flow of your novel depends on leading the reader into and out of your scenes. Feedback helps you work on how you’re entering and exiting scenes. You can quickly see if you’re using repetitive opening and closing types that might bore your reader. You can ensure you’ve used dramatic entry and exit hooks to get the reader into the next scene and keep them there.

You can also see just your scene opening or closing types. Check out how many times you use each type, the percentage of use, and the order the types appear in. You can see quickly if you have the balance right for your genre. Here’s a peek at my upcoming novel, Look The Other Way. You can see I’ve opened almost half of the scenes with action.


7. Tension and Conflict

Problem: Your readers are telling you they are bored or skimming in places.

Do you have enough tension and conflict in each scene? Too many scenes in a row without tension or conflict will bore your reader.



8. Empty Stage

Problem: Your readers can’t visualize your settings and are not moved emotionally by them.

Are you using senses and objects to fill the stage? You’ll know quickly if your stage is empty, and an empty stage means unengaged readers.

 


9. Confusing timelines or missing objects

Problem 1: Your readers are lost in time or complaining they can’t keep track of time.

Problem 2: You’re not sure where key objects appear in your novel.

You can keep track of the time in which a scene takes place. You can also see which scenes important objects appear in. If you want, you can even add a row that shows which characters are in the scene, too. Then it’s clear who knows about the objects and when they know about them.

 


10. Rewrite Tips

Problem: You don’t have time to search through how-to-write or self-edit books to find the knowledge you need to turn your first draft into a great story readers love.

If you’re struggling with finding advice on big-picture editing, Feedback provides this at your fingertips. The rewrite tips are focused on the area you’re working on, eliminating time-consuming searches through books or the internet.

Source: 10 Benefits of Feedback for Big-Picture Editing – Feedback For Fiction

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Learn How To Self-Edit #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2Thank 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

BIG-PICTURE EditingIf 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…

Learn How To Self-Edit #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. Today is day one 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 kick off this series, I’d like to talk about becoming your own self-editor.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!

Why Learn How To Self-Edit?

With the advent of self-publishing, there is no one stopping a writer from publishing poor fiction that does not sell.

So what can new fiction writers do to ensure they’ve written a story that works and is ready to share?

They need to complete a big-picture story edit and rewrite the first draft.

Science fiction novelist Michael Crichton agrees when he says: “Great books are not written–they’re rewritten.   

But big-picture editing and rewriting is hard and can take months to complete.

Today, I’ll give you a place to start with a focus on plot. 

Plot describes the events that take place in your story. The events occur in a sequence, and that sequence forms the structure of your novel. You’ll most likely have a main plot and one or two subplots. Your protagonist (main character) follows the main plot. Secondary characters follow the subplots.

Your job as a writer is to evaluate how you’ve written the plot (and subplots) and to rewrite until you’ve created a compelling story for your readers. Then you can move on to word choice, style, and copyediting.

Your plot is made up of scenes. If you make each scene great, have each scene flow from one to the next in a way that makes sense to the reader, and pay attention to the key elements of fiction for each scene, you’ll end up with a great novel.

The first element under PLOT to evaluate is the purpose of the scene. The purpose of the scene must relate to the overall story. If it’s not driving the story forward, ask yourself why you included the scene in your novel.

Once you know the purpose of each scene, you want to test how the flow of your novel is working. To do this, keep track of how you enter and exit each scene.

For entering each scene, do you:

  • Vary the way you enter each scene in your draft?
  • Have a hook that draws the reader into the scene?
  • Anchor the reader in terms of point of view, setting, and timing?

For exiting each scene, do you:

  • Vary the way you end each scene?
  • Have a hook that makes the reader want to start the next scene?
  • Use a technique that connects the current scene to the following scene?

Answer each of the above questions for every scene, use the answers to rewrite the scenes, and you’ll be sure to improve your story.

More Self-Editing Advice

BIG-PICTURE EditingIf 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…

Feedback For Fiction | Self-Evaluating Scene Openings and Novel Structure

Self-Evaluating Scene Openings and Novel Structure

There are times when a person has the luxury of sitting down and reading a novel in one session. Wouldn’t that be nice if we could all do that? However, most of us read a novel in multiple sessions.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-10-11-46-amWhen you’re rewriting your draft, dreaming of creating a novel readers will love, it’s critical to think about how readers read.

Many writing books talk about the importance of the first line, first paragraph and first page of a novel. If you don’t grab the reader then, you might lose them for good. There is a lot of pressure on a writer to produce an extraordinary first line for a novel. If your reader has put your book aside for a while and picked it up at a new scene, that scene opening has to all the things the opening of your novel does. So much pressure…but we have a process to help you.

When your readers start a new scene, they must be immediately be engaged in the scene. To ensure this happens, work through your revision as if you…

READ MORE at: Feedback For Fiction | Self-Evaluating Scene Openings and Novel Structure