Story-fixing Your Novel––Part VIII

plottingIt’s all in the details. But there are so many of them. Which ones to include? What is necessary to the story, and what isn’t? Details will either help your story take wing, or weigh it down like an anvil. They’ll either lift your story or burden it. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing

Every detail is a promise of significance. Promises to readers must be kept, or you’ll disappoint them. One thing you never want is a disappointed reader.

Quick Fix

  • Look at the details you’ve included and carefully evaluate them.
  • How are they rendered? (to retain in voice).
  • How evocative are they (rather than merely descriptive)?
  • What cues will they give the readers about what’s important to this story?
  • Make sure that what you focus the reader’s attention on is what you intended.

pen-and-padFine–Tuning Your Manuscript

  • Do my details about characters, locations, and objects evoke the emotion I’m shooting for?
  • Where can I tweak the details to improve my descriptions?
  • How can I do a better job of bringing out the uniqueness of this common object?
  • Do my details uphold the mood, feeling, or image I want readers to experience at this moment in the story?
  • Have I used specificity to highlight what matters in this scene?
  • Do I make implicit promises? Do I fulfill them when readers want them fulfilled?

It’s all in the details. Use detail to enrich your story, but don’t overuse. Include enough so that the reader can get the picture you want them to have in the their heads when they read your story, but don’t bog the story down with too much detail. Click to Tweet Leave a little to the readers’ imagination. #amwriting #storyfixing

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