Revision checklist

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Found a great revision checklist on Nathan Bransford’s blog (he’s a US author and former literary agent) covering everything that needs to be considered in the revision process, e.g. pacing, voice, writing tics, descriptions, tenses, etc. It’s a really comprehensive list and completely invaluable. The blog entry can be read here but the checklist is provided below in full.


Like this? I occasionally send out newsletters full of useful writing advice and reading titbits. If you want to receive them, click HERE to subscribe.


– Does the main plot arc initiate close enough to the beginning that you won’t lose the reader?
– Does your protagonist alternate between up and down moments, with the most intense towards the end?
– Are you able to trace the major plot arcs throughout the book? Do they have up and down moments?
– Do you have enough conflict?
– Does the reader see both the best and worst characteristics of your main characters?
– Do your characters have backstories and histories? Do these impact the plot?
– Is the pacing correct for your genre? Is it consistent?
– Is your voice consistent? Is it overly chatty or sarcastic?
– Is the tense completely consistent? Is the perspective consistent?
– Is there sufficient description that your reader feels grounded in the characters’ world?
– Is there too much description? (David R. Slayton)
– Are momentous events given the weight they deserve?
– Look closely at each chapter. If you can take out a chapter and the plot will still make sense, is it really necessary? Should some events be folded in with others?
– Do the relationships between your characters develop and change and become more complicated as the book goes on?
What do your characters want? Is it apparent to the reader? Do they have both conscious and unconscious motivations?
– Do you know what your writing tics are? Do you overuse adverbs, metaphors, facial expressions, non-“said” dialogue tags, or interjections? Have you removed them?
– Do you overuse certain words or phrases? Is your word choice perfect throughout?
– Does your book come to a completely satisfying conclusion? Does it feel rushed?
– Do your main characters emerge from the book irrevocably changed?
– Are your characters distinguishable? Does it make sense to combine minor characters? (Kiersten)
– Do each of your scenes make dramatic sense on their own as well as move the overall plot forward? (Pete Peterson)


Like this? I occasionally send out newsletters full of useful writing advice and reading titbits. If you want to receive them, click HERE to subscribe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s