Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Revisions? Gotta ask...

As promised, here are a few more tidbits from Nancy Mercado's presentation on revisions. She gave us a list of questions, and I'll post a few to get you started:

1. In a summary, would your book be all action and no Heart? Is there enough
emotional content?

2. Is your book more about a cool idea, or is it a story?

3. Do you have cliches taking up the real estate of your book?

4. Are you taking shortcuts in order to get around your shortcomings as a

5. Do you have a giant information dump anywhere in your book?

6. Do you have a count-down? Is there enough suspense building--what are we
reading to find out?

Ok...start with these six questions and see where you end up.


  1. Some helpful questions there, Mary Ann.

    I think I need to ask myself about the shortcuts around my weaknesses. I think I do this, but it's not easy to recognize in your own writing.

    Did she happen to give any "red flags" or indicators that someone might be doing this? Or do I have to actually work at this and figure it out for myself? ;-)

  2. "2. Is your book more about a cool idea, or is it a story?"

    I love this piece of advice. I kind of equate it to times in which a news reporter will go in to cover a story with some preconceived ideas. The result is usually a shallow overview of his/her subject's experiences. When that happens, the writer often misses the real story.

    Thanks for sharing these great questions.

  3. Linda, here's one example: if you're really good at dialogue but a little weak on plot development, you might tend to write a lot more dialogue to get around the situation.

    I know what you mean about the shallow news story, Aisha. It can be easy to go for the surface glitz but get nothing deep if you are too infatuated with the concept itself.

    I'll list some more question later.

  4. Great questions worth writing down and remembering. Thanks for sharing these.


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