Questions to ask yourself about your novel when revising and editing

Revising and editing your novel is an essential part of turning out a polished piece of writing. Here is a checklist that might help you.

1. Every scene or linking passage must be there for a reason.

2. Why is this scene included?

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

4. Does it start at the right point?

5. Does it end at the right point?

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

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

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

9. 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?

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

11.Watch for phrases and words you overuse.

12. Are there too many characters?

13. Are they alive enough?

14. Are the characters actions realistic?

15. Are the main characters sympathetic?

16. Do the characters grow and change?

17. Have you overwritten?

18. Does it entertain and interest the reader?