Whatever your writing process, whether you outline or dive straight into prose, there’s one step we all must do – story edit. There are innumerable things to edit in a manuscript, but let’s start with the bones of the story. After all, adding metaphors and sensory descriptions won’t matter if the story is weak.
So bring out that handy Basic Beats chart. Fill it in. Even if you used this to outline your novel, things probably changed when you were writing, so update it.
Just filling in The Basic Beats will reveal missing or flimsy story elements. Bam! You’re already editing!
Once you have all the elements, start asking questions. The first one I usually ask is: “Did this story change the protagonist’s life?” Start to answer by comparing the Opening and the Final Moment…