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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lesson 18 - Revising


This is the last but very important lesson in narrative writing that many students/writers tend to overlook. Learning the essence of what is in this lesson will help you improve the quality of your writing (and your test scores!) before you turn your work in or publish it.

To revise your work effectively, it helps to read your writing out loud so that you can hear it as a third person (pretend that you didn't write it and are just reading someone else's work). Have a red pen or highlighter ready to mark the sections that need improvement. As you are reading, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is there a conflict in my story? Have I built it up to make it more suspenseful?

2. Have I described the setting? Have I used my five senses in my description?

3. Does my plot have the five parts - introduction, build-up, climax, resolution and outcome?

4. Have I started the story in an interesting way? Do I need to rewrite it?

5. Do my characters have different and interesting personalities? Are any of them too stereotypical?

6. Have I included some dialogue in my story? Do they sound natural or awkward?

7. Have I used sentences of different length and structure? Should I break up or join up some of the sentences?

8. Have I used any figurative language? Does it effectively represent what I want to say or does it merely confuse the reader?

9. Have I used "active" vocabulary instead of elementary words? Have I used them effectively or am I just trying to show-off my range of vocabulary?

10. Have I included some adjectives and adverbs? So they accurately represent the degree/magnitude of the idea I'm putting across?

11. Have I shown and not told? Are there are parts that need revising?

12. Have I used transition words to create cohesion? Are there any sentences that would sound better with a transition?

13. Do I need to clarify any information? Is anything unclear?

14. Do I need to cut any information? Is anything boring, repetitive or unnecessary?

15. Does my writing read smoothly and naturally? Are they any gaps that need filling?

16. Did I enjoy reading the essay as a third person?

Congratulations! You have completed all the lessons in the fiction section. The next section will be focused on non-fiction writing. Until then, take care :)

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