Narrative Writing


Revise, Revise, Revise!

A milestone is a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.

The secret of good writing can be summed up in three words: "Revise, revise, revise!"

You have now finished your first draft. That's an important milestone. But you're still far from finished. Now it's time to go back and revise your work.

The lessons which follow are among the easiest—and hardest—that you will do all year. Reading the lessons is easy; what's hard is applying them to your own work.

So don't rush. After each lesson, pause and ask yourself: What did I learn in this lesson that I can use to make my own story even better?

And then go back and spend some time on your own story, revising and rewriting. Should you add a scene (or delete one)? Can you clarify the story question? Does your story have a clear beginning, middle, and end?

Only after you have spent some time revising should you continue with the next lesson.

Kill Your Darlings

Writers have a saying: "Sometimes you have to kill your darlings." It means that sometimes you have to delete a paragraph or a scene that you really love. Perhaps it's a description that interrupts the flow of the story, or a scene which doesn't have a cause or an effect. Whatever it is, if it doesn't fit in well with the rest of your story, you must be willing to delete it if you want to be a good writer.