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Check Your Plot

question timeAsk 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.

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