Rewrites in 4 Easy Phases: Phase 4: Micro Assessment and Changes

March2013 003We’ve made it. We’ve arrived at the final phase of the rewrite, and from here, you know you can succeed. (Um, is it just me, or have I really been that obsessed with plot structure that I think the 4 phases are also based on the four plot sections?) Well, good news is, we have just the climax ahead, and we will succeed – no martyrdom allowed here.

So, the 5 steps of the final phase: Micro Assessment and Changes.

  1. Read through and make notes as you did on step 1 of Phase 1. If possible, do a search and highlight of overused words / phrases, throw-away words, etc. Look for awkward wording, anything unclear, and particular weaknesses (like a tendency for talking heads or lack of setting, etc.) Note opportunities to fine tune scenes, along with suggestions. Again, I highly recommend doing a read-through and only making notes in this phase. If you start making changes, you’ll get caught up and not be able to enjoy the “read” as hopefully your readers will.
  2. Assess. Are there still big problems? Loose ends? Stray plot threads? If so, go back to phase 1 and start again. (I’m sorry, I know that hurts!) If not, then proceed.
  3. Correct and Implement. Using your notes, make the minor corrections like deleting extra words, tightening up sentences, and making scenes as strong as possible. Consider heightening description, the use of the five senses and imagery. If your gut says something still isn’t working, go back and correct it. BUT, don’t get caught up in the need for absolute perfection; it’s a losing battle.
  4. Celebrate! You’ve completed rewrites. Now you can go on and do things like marketing material, send it out, etc.
  5. Get to work on your next book. You’re a writer. That’s what you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, you’ve survived the four phases of rewrites.

I love hearing from you. How did you do? Any sections you suffered through? Any tweaks or suggestions for improving the method? What’s your next plan?

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a terrific week. Oh, and if you liked the series, why not follow the blog? There’s sure to be more. ๐Ÿ™‚