The past caught up with me this past week while I was working on a writing deadline. Now I’m left with my broom and an insurmountable amount of debris… toys, papers, baseball uniforms, mail, dishes…you name it, I think it might be in there somewhere.
Do I leave it there? Well, now there is a tempting option, but I do need to restore a bit organization if we are going find anything this week. Sigh. Time to roll up my sleeves.
How about your manuscript? Once you have finished the rough draft or what I like to call the plot draft, you have to go back an uncover the amazing in your story. Let’s face it, that’s no small thing.
So, time to test your archaeologist skills. When you go back to look at your manuscript in the editing stage there are many things to work on, but today I want to focus on the spine of your novel. This is the overall edit, not the individual scene edits. Those are a bit different.
Many writer’s forget to check the spine of the novel or the plot layout of their novel to make sure that everything is lined up to make their story the best it can be. If we uncover the plot spine and make sure that it is straight, then you are in good shape to start your scene edits.
In Your Spine Edit Check For The Following Things:
*Start with a scene that is on the move
*Strong Story Hook
*Establishes Your Hero/Heroine’s Spiritual Journey- The lie they believe or the thing that they need to change
*Establishes the home world of your character
*The Character is given an invitation to change and embrace Spiritual truth, but they reject it.
*Inciting Incident that sends your character on their journey.
*Establishes the story question
*Sends each POV character on a quest to achieve something
*At least three Disasters/Conflicts that your character must face(All POV Characters Must Have this)
*Show character growth in a logical sequence
*Tension continues to build, each hardship gets more difficult to face
*Subplot starts in this section of the book
*Everything Escalates to the Black Moment, or the darkest moment for your character where they fear they will lose it all.
*Truth is brought to your character
*They have an epiphany, or realize the truth and accept it
*They attempt to act on this new truth and fail
*They don’t give up, the climax of the plot leads them to overcome their doubt
*They are a new person.
There are many components to the editing process. If you look at the spine of your novel, before you begin to edit scenes, it will save you the difficulty of having to rewrite scenes to match the story spine.
What things are on your checklist for the spine edit?