Writing Fiction Checklist

Here are some further tips from Pauline Rowson author of the popular marine mystery series featuring DI Andy Horton, Tide of Death and Deadly Waters and of the thrillers In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill.

When writing your novel every scene or linking passage must be there for a reason so ask yourself:

1. Why is this scene included?

2. What about it will make the reader read on?

3. Does it start at the right point?

4. Does it end at the right point?

5. Is there a good blend of narrative, description and dialogue?

6. Look critically at too long explanatory passages – show your readers what is happening and what your characters are thinking, don’t tell them.

7. Look carefully at viewpoint through which you describe a scene – whose head are you inside? How would he or she see it?

8. Look at wording and phrasing. Take each sentence one by one – does it say what you intended it to say? Is it elegant or clumsy?

9. Prune unnecessary words – e.g. George shouted angrily.

10. Watch for phrases and words you overuse.

11. Have you overwritten?

12. Does it entertain and interest the reader?

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