1. Try not to make things overly complicated. Alyssa once told me to take the plot out of its braid and throw it in a ponytail. Simple, but brilliant. Problem was, when I did this I had quite a mess to comb through.
2. Don’t be afraid. Of anything. If I can delete nearly my entire manuscript, you can axe a chapter that doesn’t fit.
3. Brainstorm several ways to reach each plot point. Choose the most unique.
4. Revision should not impede on your writing time. When you write, just write. Try to keep from listening to your brain’s insults.
5. When it’s time for revision, whittle away. If you can make a sentence more concise, do it.
6.Question everything. I often refer to the following questions, which are tacked to a corkboard in my office:
· Does the book start with an inciting incident that will force your MC to act, and challenge your MC to grow?
· Is there is enough emotion, tension, suspense, etc.? Or too much?
· Is something too obvious? Does something come too easy because you need it to advance the plot?
· What can you do to make each scene stronger?
· How can you weed out your cliched sentences and/or ideas?
· Is there a motivation for each event? What about a purpose?
· Are you keeping your MC from attaining a goal? This is a must until the ending.
· Will your reader wonder about or hope for something pertaining to your MC as they progress through the story?