Graph Your Novel (Seriously!) – Guest Post by Me @wilwrite

I’m excited to be on the faculty at the Willamette Writers Conference  in early August.  I’ll be talking about using critique to enhance your writing life, and I’m bringing my Angel Punk manpack to talk about transmedia.

If you want to join me (which would be amazing and cooler than cupcakes), click here to register.

And you can follow the conference blog to get more from all the faculty in advance.  My guest blog — Graph Your Novel (Seriously!) — appears on here and a teaser below…

If writing a first draft is like trying to out-run an avalanche, revision resembles digging out with a shovel.  Any tool that can cut through the details and provide a panoramic view of the shape of our story is useful.  Try a graph—seriously!

Pick 1-3 things that you want to focus on and that you can rate on a 1-10 scale.  Some examples include voice, pace, likeability of a character, emotional intensity, conflict, fluidity of language, narrative coherency, moving plot forward, or a character’s transition from one state to another.  If a critique partner is doing this for you, asking if s/he’s “lost” will help analyze backstory components.  One of my critique group members analyzed the “turn the page factor” on a scale from 1, completely uninterested, to 10, can’t stop to pee.  Read more…