On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Manuscript Revision Checklist/Old Contest Scoresheet

Image hosting by PhotobucketHere's PART 1 of an old contest scoresheet that the Rocky Mtn Fiction Writers revised (with input from the whole organization) in 1997. I was one of the contest coordinators that year and put a lot of work into this. I still think it's excellent for checking a manuscript against to see if you're (I'm) hitting the things that are important in storytelling/writing.

A reminder: this is for genre fiction: mystery, romance, sf/f, action/adventure, not for literary fiction:

Manuscript: Plot & Story Elements

Hook/Setup--Interesting line, character, or critical situation that grabs the reader, backstory adequate not excessive.

Setting--Time of day, location, weather, environment/surroundings, research details (if relevant).

Story Question Established--What's at stake? The issue that drives the story.

Scene Structure--Scene propels the plot or reveals character, or both.


Manuscript: Story-telling Craft

Story Movement--Active vs passive language, pacing.

Viewpoint--Conveys story info consistently, clearly, without jarring reader identification.

Choreography--Physical action enhances credibility. Character control. Do characters vanish?

Transitions--Between viewpoints, paragraphs, scenes.

Sentence and paragraph structure, clarity and variety.

Manuscript: Style
Story Flow--Seamless, non-intrusive writing.

Imagery--Uses all senses, blends showing with telling. Enhances, doesn't overwhelm story.

Word Choice--Use of language appropriate to the genre.

Voice--Unique, captivating or compelling voice, turn of phrase.

Manuscript: Character Development

Central Characters--Distinctive, interesting, alive, sympathetic, purposeful.

Secondary Characters--Distinctive, interesting, alive, provide relevant functions.

Character Motivation--Believable actions, reactions, conclusions.

Physical Descriptions--Can the characters be visualized?

Psychological Descriptions--Inner and outer conflict/problems, clear character premise.


More tomorrow!
May everything you do today add to your technique and story.
Robin

2 Comments:

Blogger moonhart said...

Robin, was this only for the first chapter? How many pages?

Wondering,

terri

2:28 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

This was for 20 pages and an 8 page synopsis, I believe.

11:10 AM  

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