Today I thought I’d share my revision checklist. Once I’ve finished my first draft of my novel, I’ll pull out this revision sheet, which I’ve compiled based on a few editing courses and books I’ve read, as well as from my own trial and error (my first failed novels ). I’ve broken my revision down into two stages. Stage 1 is the deep revisions: adding more emotion and depth to my story. Stage 2 is more about construction and grammar.
l Stage 1
□Build awareness into every time hero and heroine are on page together (there should be at least one moment of notice between them on each page).
□If characters are not together, they should think of each other at least once on every page.
□Build emotion in ‘black moment’ and love scenes (Important!)
□Add sexual tension.
□Fill any plot holes.
l Stage 2
□Do universal check for -ly and -ing words. Replace as many as you can.
□Do verb check. Replace weak verbs with stronger ones (look, walk, stare).
□Check dialogue tags. Get rid of all unnecessary ones.
□Check dialogue for each character to make sure it’s believable for them.
□Change all unnecessary passive tense (was, were, being, been) to active
□Get rid of felt, knew, thought, realized words.
□Check for “as” prepositions. Make sure to put cause before the effect.
□Check to make sure characters don’t use each others’ names too much.
□Watch for excessive or unnecessary use of the following words or phrases: of, own, my God
So what do you think? Anything in particular you’d add to this checklist? Anything that seems crazy to you?