The Sixth Step of Revision? Writing Killer Scenes

Ready for step six in my Revision Series of Awesome?

Spoiler: I’m not sure how awesome it truly is. I kind of just made up that name.

For summary or recap. Imagine a montage like they do before an episode of your fave series. Imagine really big crescendos and music too, okay?

The first step was taking a breather.

The second step was doing the read-through.

The third step is really making decisions.

Step FourDeciding if your changes are huge or tiny? Start with the huge ones that impact the whole book. Fix those things.

Step Five is reading through it all again after you’ve made the changes and tweaking some thing. What? I know! I know! What a beast!

WE ARE ON STEP SIX!!! We’re so close, my friends!

Okay, now we’re onto my absolute favorite part – the scene. I love scenes SO MUCH that I’m actually teaching a course about them at the Writing Barn next fall!

So in this revision step, we look at the scene and we remember some really core and important things.

  1. Does the scene move the plot forward? No? You might have to cut that baby.
  2. Does the scene more the character forward? Are they evolving here? No? You might have to cut that baby.
  3. Does that scene have people who matter to your plot? No? Maybe cut the baby.
  4. Does it have the right point of view? No? Revise it so it does.
  5. Does it have silly, boring dialogue? Cut it.

What is silly dialogue?

It’s this.

Carrie: Hi.

Writer: Hi.

Carrie: The weather is nice.

Writer: Yep.

Carrie: I like manatees.

Writer: Yeah, okay.

Bad Dialogue by Carrie 🙂

Let’s go back to our list. Let’s make a new one!

  1. Does your scene use all the senses? Can you feel where they are? Make sure you can!
  2. Are there talking heads in the scene? Give your character tics, habits, things to do. Have them interact with the world?
  3. Is it a big info dump? Yes? Fix it! Any time that you see the word ‘dump,’ it’s usually not a good thing.
  4. Does everyone sound the same? Fix that!
  5. Does your scene have a beginning, middle, and end? It should!
  6. Does it seem like the characters only just start living the moment that you start the scene? It shouldn’t!

WHEW! I swear! I swear! You’ve got this! Your book is going to be so shiny!

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

Step Five of Revision – Read Your Book Again

We’ve been going over how to revise your novel, which is really important if you want to be a writer who doesn’t suck.

No! No! Sorry!

It’s really important if you want to be a writer who wants to write the best stories possible for their reader.

If you don’t care about that? Don’t worry about revising.

For summary:

The first step was taking a breather.

The second step was doing the read-through.

The third step is really making decisions.

Step Four – Deciding if your changes are huge or tiny? Start with the huge ones that impact the whole book. Fix those things.

And here we are at step five! Whew! Look at us go, right?

Step Five is reading through it all again after you’ve made the changes. What? I know! I know! What a beast!

Yes, strap on your caffeine IV, writer friends, you have to read this whole baby again and do that second step all over.

What?

Yep.

Read it and look for things that aren’t working. Look for things that need to be there.

  1. Conflict – Is it there on the first page.
  2. Plot – Does Act Two (1/4 way in usually) put your protagonist in a completely different world than Act One?
  3. Character – Once you hit Act Two (and you can indeed do this in Act One) is your hero main character going after her goals?
  4. Character – Is there an antagonist fighting against her?
  5. Character – Do you need all 896 of them? Hack away if you don’t.
  6. Plot – Is the tension increasing as she goes after those goals?
  7. Character- Are they believable? Does their dialogue make sense? Do they all sound the same? Do they all want the same things? If yes, you need to make that answer a no.
  8. Character – Do they have emotions? Emotions are good. No Vulcans in your novel unless you’re writing Star Trek fanfiction.
  9. Plot – Is everything logical? Is there a cause and effect?
  10. Character – Are their wants and motives right there for the reader to see?
  11. Character – Do they all have names that start with E or K or any other letter? FIX THAT NOW! Do they all have the same name as your besties and evil ex? FIX THAT NOW!
  12. Structure – Is there an emotionally resonating climax? Will your reader weep or pump their fist and scream, “YES! YES! YES!”? Yes? Good!

And that, my friends, is step five.

Ready for step six in my revision series of awesome?

Spoiler: I’m not sure how awesome it truly is. I kind of just made up that name.

For summary or recap. Imagine a montage like they do before an episode of your fave series. Imagine really big crescendos and music too, okay?

The first step was taking a breather.

The second step was doing the read-through.

The third step is really making decisions.

Step FourDeciding if your changes are huge or tiny? Start with the huge ones that impact the whole book. Fix those things.

And here we are at step five!

Whew! Look at us go, right?

Step Five is reading through it all again after you’ve made the changes.

What? I know! I know! What a beast!

Read it and look for things that aren’t working.

Look for things that need to be there.

  1. Conflict – Is it there on the first page.
  2. Plot – Does Act Two (1/4 way in usually) put your protagonist in a completely different world than Act One?
  3. Character – Once you hit Act Two (and you can indeed do this in Act One) is your hero main character going after her goals?
  4. Character – Is there an antagonist fighting against her?
  5. Character – Do you need all 896 of them? Hack away if you don’t.
  6. Plot – Is the tension increasing as she goes after those goals?
  7. Character– Are they believable? Does their dialogue make sense? Do they all sound the same? Do they all want the same things? If yes, you need to make that answer a no.
  8. Character – Do they have emotions? Emotions are good. No Vulcans in your novel unless you’re writing Star Trek fanfiction.
  9. Plot – Is everything logical? Is there a cause and effect?
  10. Character – Are their wants and motives right there for the reader to see?
  11. Character – Do they all have names that start with E or K or any other letter? FIX THAT NOW! Do they all have the same name as your besties and evil exes? FIX THAT NOW!
  12. Structure – Is there an emotionally resonating climax? Will your reader weep or pump their fist and scream, “YES! YES! YES!”? Yes? Good!

And that, my friends, is step five.


BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

What are your issues, writer? The Fourth Step of Revision!

So, if the second step of revision is reading through your draft and making a nice long list of problem areas and a check list about how to potential check them and you’ve decided, “YES! I want to make the best book that I can make!”


Then . . .

The next step is dividing up those changes as local and global.

Local issues are nice and little and easy to fix. You can do it in one scene or one page and just be done with it. It’s like when you have a hangnail. You notice the hangnail. You get the tweezers, do a little snip-snip and all is good.

With a global issue? Things are not so easy. These changes and problems can’t just be fixed with tweezers. They require a full operation involving anesthesia, surgery tools that are properly sanitized, and recovery. They resonate throughout the entire novel.

When you revise, you want to start with the big issues first.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

The Third Step of Revision

So, I’m on a revision kick apparently, mostly because I’m about to try a massive self-publishing where I release a novel a month for the rest of the year. Feel free to gasp here.

And also because I’m working with a lot of writers on revision right now.

The first step was taking a breather.

The second step was doing the read-through.

The third step is really making decisions.

Decisions can be hard for all of us, right? And decisions about art? Those are super hard sometimes for us writers because we have all the feels about all the words.

But we have to buckle up and do the work and make the decisions.

What kind of decisions?

We have to decide what to change.

Yep.

Change.

A scary word all in itself unless you’re finding it in the seat cushions.

But us humans tend to be super nervous about change. We are afraid of the unknown. We worry about MAKING THINGS WORSE.

If I had a dollar for all the writers who told me during revisions that they would be making things worse, I would be able to not work all summer, I think.

And that would be awesome.

But back to the topic.

You want to look back at all the issues you saw in your draft during your read through and you want do decide which ones need to be fixed.

Make the decision to fix things or not.

Breathe.

You’ve got this.

It really comes down to whether you want to be lazy about things or if you want to craft the best book you possibly can.

When I put it that way, it’s really a no-brainer, right?

That’s why we’re going to talk about the next step on Wednesday.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 261,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.