I made myself a couple of checklists for my writing the second draft.
As I mentioned, I have three themes I want to pursue:
1.) HUMANS ARE STRANGE.
2.) WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?
3.) THE WEIRD MENAGERIE.
For nuts and bolts writing, I made a second checklist.
1.) Is there a more original way to say it?
2.) Is there a telling detail you can add?
3.) Does it read professionally? Is it smooth and pleasing?
4.) Does it advance the story? Is there anything you can add for suspense?
5.) Sight, sound, color, touch, feel, all the senses.
6.) Are we emotionally connected to the narrator?
I planned to go through the chapters once. Then run through them again with the critiques from the writer's group. Then a third time with Checklist 1; and a fourth time with Checklist 2.
In reality, I ran through the chapters once with the checklists pretty much in mind, and then a second time with the writer's group critiques (which have turned out to be kind of skimpy -- the critique at the meetings can be anyway from 5 minutes to an hour, but there turn out to be only a few written comments and corrections.)
My test is -- if I picked this up in a bookstore, would it seem out of place?
I tell you what: I'm so glad right now that I actually had those books published back in the 80's, as well as got some real positive feedback on the unpublished manuscripts.
Cause if it wasn't for that, I'd be afraid I was making a fool of myself.
It is so intimidating. I've just put on my blinders, stuck a needle through my eye for a small lobotomy, and I'm finishing the damn book!
2 months ago