I took a page from Kat’s book (or a recent post, anyway) and looked back through my McDaniel Romance Writing class notes. I came across this checklist for self-editing a scene (from the second class). I did not create it. I got it somewhere else (it could have been Jenny or maybe Jeanne). I like it because it guides me with concrete questions that address conflict, motivation, character and story arc, and tension. It along with many other hints/tips/tricks is stuck to the bulletin board beside my desk.
Self-Editing List for Scene
- Who is my protagonist in this scene?
- What does she want?
- Why does she want it?
- What’s her plan for getting it?
- Who is my antagonist in this scene?
- What does he want?
- Why does he want it?
- What’s his plan for getting it?
- Who makes the first move to get his or her goal in this scene? What is it?
- How does the other character in the conflict respond?
- How does this response escalate the conflict?
- Lather, rinse, repeat until . . . Who wins the conflict?
- How is the protagonist changed by this outcome?
- How is the antagonist changed by this outcome?
- How does this outcome make the reader want to turn the page or throw the reader into another scene? (Hint: Expectation established during scene.)
So whose list did I steal?