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Mastering Revision

Once your draft is done, the hard work starts: the revision process. In addition to grammar and sentence structure, these revisions tips can help you identify plot holes and speed bumps that affect the reader's enjoyment of your story.

Revision is Half the Battle


Speed Bumps

The Reaction Plot Hole

Find and Replace Tool

Proofreading Tips Part 1 of 2

Proofreading Tips Part 2 of 2

Give Your Book A Listen

Backing up your Babies

Tips for Managing Your Files

More tips on revising your draft can be found in Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers available in ebook and print. Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website  www.dianahurwitz.com along with free forms.

Mastering Grammar and Prose

The elements that make prose "good" are subjective. It can be lyrical or plain. Your readers must be able to understand your words to enjoy the story. Grammatical and word usage errors are speed bumps. It is important to smooth them out so the reader's trip through your story is smooth. You don't have to waste time on perfecting your words until you have a solid draft.

Think of sentence structure and grammar as the melody to the lyrics of your words.

Here are articles on sentence structure, basic grammar, rhetorical devices and other story elements.







































  
















The above information can be found in Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers available in ebook and print

Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website along with free forms.

Mastering Conflict in Scenes

Every scene should contain conflict. This idea set me on my search to figure out what that meant and how I could achieve it. I found that conflicts create tension which encourages readers to turn the page.

The tension lies with the wanting. It can be a small thing: to escape an emotion, to get a cup of coffee. Every main character in the scene should want something out of the exchange in each scene: to vent, to get information, to cause trouble, to ease trouble, to find something, to lose themselves in something. 


Whether or not they get it is up to you. They can get it and be satisfied, not get it and need to try again, get it and find out it wasn't what they needed or requires something further. This is how you propel the reader as they meander or speed through your story. Goals and obstacles supply the gas that keeps the story motor running.
Here are some articles on how to craft conflict to create tension.
Responses to Obstacles



The information on genre can also be found in the book Story Building Blocks The Four Layers of Conflict in ebook and print editions as well as on my website 
www.dianahurwitz.com. Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website along with free forms such as:


Mastering Character Development

If developed well, a character can live in a reader's mind long after they've forgotten the book's title, plot points, even the author's name. Here are some tips on creating memorable characters.

Memorable Characters

Naming Your Characters

Avoid Sad Sack Protagonists

Reinventing the Hero

Choosing Your Antagonist

Crafting The Con Man

Mob Mentality (how mobs control people)

Angel or Devil

Levels of Antagonism

Friends and Foes

Developing Sidekicks

Sixteen Lovers Part 1

Sixteen Lovers Part 2

Sixteen Lovers Part 3

Sixteen Lovers Part 4

Romance: Points of Connection

Obstacles to Love

Layering Conflict Character Motivation 

Ten Ways to Motivate Characters

Writing (Characters) in Three Dimensions

Should Your Characters Change?

Unpacking your Character Question 1

Unpacking your Character Question 2

Unpacking your Character Question 3

What Drives Your Characters Part 1

What Drives Your Characters Part 2

Tapping Your Character's Currency

Currency in Action

Ditherers and Despots

Conflicts of Project Runway Under Pressure

New Year's Resolution

Personal Ghosts as Conflict

Crafting Creatures: Ghosts

Crafting Creatures: Witches

Crafting Creatures: Vampires

Crafting Creatures: Fae

Crafting Creatures: Angels and Demons

Dressing Your Characters

12 Fascinating Fe/Male Spies

Revising Characters


The information on genre can also be found in the book Story Building Blocks The Four Layers of Conflict in ebook and print editions as well as on my website 
www.dianahurwitz.com. Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website along with free forms such as:

Character Worksheet

Mannequins Under Pressure

Sixteen Lovers

Communication Conflicts





Mastering Setting

Books can take the reader anywhere in the world, into space, across time, and into fictional worlds. 

In the hands of a master storyteller, the setting can become a character in its own right. It can set the tone of the story, the mood of a scene. It can shed light on universal truths.

Setting can be cheerful, funny, poignant, dramatic or terrifying.

Setting can reinforce a theme or turn it on its head.

Setting details make your story world come alive.

Successful scene setting is not just a laundry list of details. The backdrop of a scene can create obstacles or solve them.

Here are some articles on utilizing setting to enrich your story.

Where in the World?

Scouting Locations

Ten Tools for Crafting A 3-D Setting

 Landscaping Your Story World

Climate and Weather

Story Research: Maps

Build A World Map Sites

Story Scrapbooks

For more in-depth tools for setting, check out the Story Building Blocks Build A World Workbook in ebook and print.

The information on genre can also be found in the book Story Building Blocks The Four Layers of Conflict in ebook and print editions as well as on my website www.dianahurwitz.com. Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website along with free forms.

Mastering Scenes

Every story is broken down into scenes. A chapter may have more than one scene.

The most important takeaway is this: make every scene count. Don't just kill time or add filler. A scene has a job to do.

It can be an action scene, a taut conversation, a love scene, a chase scene, or an introspective scene.

Make sure you scenes earn their page time.

Much of the material from my Story Building Block books is available in my blog posts and website along with free forms.

Story and Scene Goals

Understanding Scene Goals

The Importance of "Why?"

Priming the Pump

Reaction Beats

Five Tough Questions

Composing the Scene

Scene Construction Sheet

Scene Worksheet

Goals, Stakes & Outcomes

The Bare Bones Draft


The information on genre can also be found in the book Story Building Blocks The Four Layers of Conflict in ebook and print editions as well as on my websitewww.dianahurwitz.com