In the writing challenge a chum and I have set ourselves, to write each of seventy-three blogs, we have come across a suggestion to write about or create one of those lists you come across. You know the sort of thing, the ten best such and such, twenty things you don’t know about something else, a whole load of people you’ve never heard of and what they looked like ten years … These, I believe, are called listicles.
The next topic for me to attempt on the seventy-three suggestions, is Questions you should be asking? Now does this mean I should be asking them? Or does it mean you (my dear readers) should be asking the questions?
I’m going to settle for questions I should be asking, and as I am getting towards the end of the first draft of my next Thomas book I am going to be doing some serious editing, and during that process I will be questioning myself on what I have written… it’s part of the editing process for me – I don’t know if other writers do it too. So here is my listicle of questions you should be asking… or I should be asking… or questions which should be asked…
- have you spell-checked it recently?
- you know you always put in too many filler words like just, almost, really etc – have you checked through and cut out all the unnecessary ones (which probably is most of them)
- you know you for some reason don’t use contractions when you write – ‘I had gone’ ‘she had eaten‘, which in the case of Thomas as a narrator sounds awkward and unrealistic – have you checked through all the ‘hads’ and ‘haves’ and changed them where necessary? (Yes I know it is an extremely boring task but it’s worth it)
- have you read the whole thing through from start to finish just to get a sense of the whole thing?
- have you followed the different narrative threads to make sure they actually follow on from each other, that you haven’t missed out an important detail, that you have fully explained everything so it makes sense and the reader has no unanswered queries about what happened? Check at the same time that each thread has a conclusion and doesn’t just fizzle out.
- have you gone through consecutively scenes containing a particular character checking for consistency?
- have you paid attention to scenes which could do with more description of the location? (you know you’re not very good at that)
- have you cut back on repeats of language and expressions which might become really irritating to the reader – eg ‘good grief’, ‘Kylie is so beautiful’, ‘Kenneil’ is a wunderkind’ etc, and don’t have Thomas doing too much pondering or wittering (the reader probably knows he does that by now, you don’t have to keep repeating it)
- have you read the whole thing out loud to yourself?
- have you spell-checked it again?
There are no doubt many more questions I could and should ask myself… but I want to finish and publish this book this year!!
Just in case you haven’t yet read the books in my Thomas Radwinter series, or any of my other books, here is a link: