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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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Manuscript Revision Checklist/Old Contest Scoresheet

Image hosting by PhotobucketHere's PART 2 of an old contest scoresheet that the Rocky Mtn Fiction Writers revised (with input from the whole organization) in 1997.

Relevance--Advances story, reveals character traits. Balanced with narrative.
Realistic--Credible, interesting. Tags essentially invisible.
Unique--Character voices distinct, consistent. Use of dialect/idiom doesn't overwhelm.
Originality--Fresh, clever, entertaining.

Genre Elements(for guidance only, not inclusive)
Does the story meet the general standards of this overall category (independent of sub-genre)?
Contemporary Romance: Relationship growth, emotional & physical attraction, conflict. Black moment.
Mainstream/Action: Fast pace, emphasis on jeopardy, suspense, outcome in doubt.
Mainstream/Other: Clear character growth, relationships interesting.
Mystery: Contains whodunit, howdunit, whydunit, or howcatchem.
Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: Credible, interesting world and creatures.
Time Period Romance: Research factual, compliments story. Relationships and character growth.

Storytelling Art--Character, plot and motivation balanced for genre.
Idea/Story Concept--Clear, contains elements of originality. Unique, fresh twists.
Plot Clarity--Contains a central line of conflict (spine).
Characters--Well defined and motivated, have depth and grow during the story, not excessive.
Miscellaneous: Themes (not required). Research details (if relevant).

Complete--Goes from page 1 of story to end, informative, concise.
Beginning--Establishes story question, contains an inciting incident.
Middle--Interesting and believable complications/developments/surprises/twists.
Sub-Plots--Enhance and influence plot outcome.
End--Contains a clear climax, satisfying resolution of the story question, no loose ends.

Technical Skills and Manuscript Presentation:
Spelling, grammar, proofing, neatness.
Mono-spaced, 10 characters per inch, e.g. Courier 12 pt.
1 inch margins, ragged right margin.
Double-spaced (25-27 lines per page).

Again, something to check when you're revising. May writing go well for you today.


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