Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Characters Welcome: Editor's Checklist for Revising Short Fiction

How will your characters change?
Before the month of love began, we had started reviewing the editor's checklist for revising short fiction. Today, we return to the list and address character development. Here are questions to ask yourself during the revision process.

Character Development and Arc:
  • Does the main character change noticeably, albeit subtly, organically and believably?
  • If the character doesn't change, is the reason for his stalled growth clear and understandable?
Characters (Primary):
  • Are the primary characters original, believable and if not likeable, comprehensible?
  • Are the primary characters' relationships with other characters clear and integral to the story?
Characters (Secondary):
  • Do secondary characters stand in their own right, without overshadowing the story's main squeeze?
  • Are secondary characters original, believable and if not likeable, comprehensible?
  • Are their relationships with the main characters clear?
For the full checklist, see this month's Online Writing Workshop on my website.

Tip: For the best results in editing any story, regardless of length, follow these steps:
  1. Set the work aside for at least a week.
  2. Work on another writing project in the meantime.
  3. Edit or critique someone else's work in the meantime.
Happy writing!

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