Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Content Checklist

I’ve gotten to that part of the manuscript.

You know the part I’m talking about.  I’ve written the first draft from beginning to end, and now it’s time to make some assessments.

Where am I with word count?  (With my current project, I’m six thousand words short of the contracted number I agreed to write.)

Are my scenes in sequence?  I frequently write scenes out of order (helps with writer’s block), so it’s good to go back for a read-through.

Did I tie up my loose ends?

Did I finish writing each scene? Or did I intend to come back later to finish one—and forget to?

Is my manuscript believable?

Will the reader get an image of each character in their heads?  Or should I spruce up my character descriptions?

Have I described each of my settings? (The town, characters’ houses, various meeting places?) Brief is fine, but non-existent won’t do.

After I do a read-through on my checklist, I move on to the next stage---slicing and dicing.