Ask yourself the following questions about your complete story. Be honest. Take care of any problems these questions uncover before you put the final polish on your paragraphs and sentences.
- Does your story start with action?
- Do readers get a clear picture of your MC in the first scene?
- Will readers know where your characters are?
- Is there trouble or a hint of trouble in the first scene?
- Does your MC have a goal? Will readers know what it is?
- Is it clear why your MC needs to achieve the goal?
- Does the beginning of your story cause what happens in the middle?
- Is the trouble getting steadily worse as your story goes on?
- Is your MC making things worse?
- Does the middle of your story cause what happens in the end?
- Does the ending solve the problem presented in the beginning?
- Does your MC fix things in the end?
- Is it clear why your MC could fix things in the end but couldn’t fix things in the beginning?
- Did your MC learn or change?
- Were there things within the story that caused your MC to learn or change?
- Is there anything in your story that repeats?
- Will readers understand everything that’s going on?
- Will readers understand everything your MC does and why?
- Will readers feel what your MC feels? Will they feel like the story is happening to them?
When your story answers all these questions in a way that pleases you, it’s time to Polish Your Words.
To practice the tips and techniques on this page, go to the activities page for Revising.