One Minute Editor: Four Questions Every Author Should Ask

Got a Minute?

Introducing the One Minute EditorTM: Quick Tips for writing and polishing your manuscript from the editors at Pelican Book Group.

Here's today's OME by Nicola Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

Four Questions Every Author Should Ask About Every Scene

When it comes to polishing that finished manuscript, it’s sometimes difficult to cut through all the tiny imperfections so that the story can shine. Here are four quick questions authors should ask about every scene. If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know” it’s time to get out that proverbial red pen and rework the scene until the answer is a clear, “yes,”. . . or if a yes can’t be had, consider cutting the scene completely. One word of warning: the questions are quick…the editing may not be!

  1. Does this create conflict?

  2. Does this reveal something about the main plot? (i.e. the mystery, the romance, the spiritual journey, etc. — whichever your genre or plot dictates.)

  3. Does this reveal something about a particular character's motivations/fears/hopes/desires/dreams?

  4. Does this resolve a conflict?

If each scene has a clear purpose, your story will shine.


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