Monday, July 5, 2010

Checklist...a short one

Check lists to use for revising scenes and chapters have helped me lately. I found an article in an old Writers Digest that Nancy Kress wrote. Her three "Cs" checklist is a short cut and easy to remember: "cause, climax and change". Cause is what motivates the character to want or do what he/she does.

Climax is when all the characters' motivations collide and to use Nancy's analogy: "your characters should be out in the storm, not safe inside". And, most importantly, don't rush it. You've built up to the climax so give it more than just a few paragraphs...create a power-filled scene. It's what you've promised the reader and hopefully you do it with a bit of surprise.

The last C is for Change. Make sure you show how each major character has the situation is different from the beginning of the novel. Help the reader have closure with all the characters that have lived in the world you built.

I'm at the change part of Hada now and this checklist reminded me to be sure I didn't leave any character up in the air or forgotten. About one more month and Hada goes into third revision, finally.

Back to my checklist and maybe to find some more changes I can add for the other members of Hada's family.


  1. Is that article available online, Julaina? One of the first books I ever read on the craft of fiction (and one of my favorites) was Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress.

  2. Is that Writers Digest article available online, Julaina? One of the first books I ever read on craft (and one of my favorites) was Beginnings, Middles, & Ends by Nancy Kress!

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