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Nov 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo Tip #29: Seven Questions to Ask About Your Manuscript



If you’re still racing to the end, or slogging to the end, keep going.

If you’ve finished, then take a breath and re-read your manuscript (or at least skim it), looking for loose ends.

1. Are names, places and logistical details consistent? Decide the correct name and spelling and keep the list in a Story Bible. These, you can correct as you go along.

2. Are the major plot questions and each of the subplot questions answered by the end?

3. Are all major characters accounted for at the end?

4. Are all the red herrings deflected and the true revelations revealed?

5. Are villainous characters given their just desserts?

6. Is the ending clear, not ambiguous? (Unless you’ve made it ambiguous on purpose, in which case, THAT should be clear.)

7. Are there any “plot promises” which you’ve forgotten to redeem? (Say the hero promised a minor character something and you meant him to keep that promise but forgot to mention it again.)

If you’re still racing to the end, or slogging to the end, keep going.

If you’ve finished, then take a breath and re-read your manuscript (or at least skim it), looking for loose ends.


As you read or skim your novel, write down all of the characters, plot promises and loose ends that you find. Keep going all the way through until the end; don’t try to fix them as you go (unless it’s a super-duper easy fix). After you have your whole list, determine how difficult it would be to fix each one: Easy, Relatively Easy, Difficult or Mind Bogglingly Daunting?

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