Once the first draft is complete, it’s time to let the Internal Editor have some fun.
When I sent the requested full to my agent, she offered me representation, which was thrilling and sent my confidence soaring. My high lasted six weeks. I then received my first Revision Notes, and reality returned.
I had to perform major surgery. That’s a nice way of saying I had to rewrite 3/4ths of my story.
Part of the process was examining what worked, what didn’t, and how I could incorporate the needed changes. I printed out a hard copy, and my Internal Editor and I embarked on an editing adventure.
Eagle Eye and I began by looking at the big picture. This edit goes by many names: substantive, developmental, content, or heavy. I prefer to call it a macro edit.
13 Things to Look for During a Macro Edit
Plot ~ Is the setup or premise big enough to sustain a novel-length story? Do the turning points and black moment come at the appropriate points?
Goals ~ Is it clear what the hero and heroine plan to accomplish?
Motivation ~ Do the hero and heroine have clearly stated reasons for wanting to achieve their goals.
Conflict ~ Is there a strong enough reason to keep the hero and heroine apart until the end of the story?
Pacing ~ Does the story move along, or are there parts that are slow?
Beginning ~ Does the opening of the story have a strong hook that will pull the reader in?
Resolution ~ Does the end come at the right time? Is it rushed? Is it satisfying?
Scenes ~ Are there at least two reasons for each scene? Does each scene advance the plot?
Flow ~ Does the order of the chapters and scenes make sense?
Characterization ~ Are my characters likable? Are they sympathetic?
Believability ~ Are the situations the characters face, the actions they take, and the choices they make believable?
Setting ~ Are there enough descriptions to give the reader a feel for the setting? This is especially important in a historical or a story set in another world.
Sensory Detail ~ Are all the senses used: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste?
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What other elements do you look for when you’re performing a macro edit?
Which of the items listed above do you consider to be your strengths?