Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo winners!
You wrote a book! Awesome, good on ya'.
Now that the celebration has cooled off it's time for REVISIONS! Hey, don't give me that face, you know I'm right.
This is a handy little tool I first saw on Pinterest a few years ago for outlining—I've modified the questions a bit to match my revision style. It helps me get to the meat of the story and showcases the stuff I need to polish, and the stuff I need to weed out completely. Plus, it keeps me motivated and saves loads of time because I lose focus easily ... oh! something shiny!
30 Questions for Your Outline
1: What does your character want?
What do they want most?
A heart, a way home, a brain, courage.
2: Why can't they have it?
3: Can you suck other characters into the main character’s problems, thereby broadening the conflict?
4: What is the hook for the readers on page one?
5: What is keeping your character from getting what she wants?
6: What character flaws are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?
7: Who is her greatest ally?
8: Who is her enemy?
9: What external forces are stopping your main character from getting what she wants?
10: How does the main character try to fix her problems? What is the consequence?
11: How does she try to fix it the next time?
12: What is the mood of your story? Keep it consistent.
13: Is your setting recognizable? Make it unique to the story, as seen through your MC's eyes.
14: Do you have ongoing mysteries/questions that will keep your reader guessing?
16: Is the subplot developing at the same rate as the main plot?
17: Do each of your characters have a role to play? Are they unique? What if they weren't in the story?
18: What makes each character special/significant to your main character?
19: What are your characters’ secrets?
20: Have you created a sympathetic main character? How?
21: Is your story building up to something big? Can you make it bigger?
22: Who/what is your antagonist?
23: How do they challenge your main character?
24: How can you make your main character’s voice unique?
25: What tools does your main character have to gain in order to win in the end? What do they have to overcome? How?
26: Do you have a ticking time bomb? If so, what is it? How does it escalate the tension?
27: What are your characters’ back stories?
28: What mistakes does your main character make? And what does she learn from them?
30: Does your ending reflect the tension in the beginning, ie: what has your character has learned since that moment?
What are some of your tools for tackling revisions?