Rewriting – A Checklist For Authors

Are you about to rewrite your book? Here are 30 questions to ask when you’re rewriting your novel.

You may enjoy these useful posts:

  1. An Editing Checklist For Writers
  2. 12-Steps to Self-Editing – your stress-free guide to preparing a manuscript
  3. How to rewrite and revise your manuscript – I’ve learnt to stop

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson

This article has 9 comments

  1. Rhea

    I think the author needs to read a few books and reevaluate this list. Try “To the Lighthouse”, “The Tropic of Cancer”, “Heart of Darkness” – characters get introduced midway, there’s very little dialogue or active voice, loads of adverbs and adjectives, no clear promise of where the book will go… Unless you are saying that this is a guide to writing a commercially viable novel which caters to a mass audience – in that case, great list!

  2. Writers Write

    The books you mentioned were published many years ago. The rules of writing evolve. We doubt these books would find a publisher today. We stand by our rules.

  3. Angela

    In multi-book fiction works you do find characters introduced later on in each individual book, but I can’t think of any other genre (that I’ve read) where new, major characters are introduced later than halfway through the novel.

  4. Jodie Renner

    Excellent list! As a sought-after freelance fiction editor and author of two writing guides in the series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, STYLE THAT SIZZLES & PACING FOR POWER and WRITING A KILLER THRILLER, I think this advice is spot-on, and will be sending my clients here to read it. I’ve already promoted it on Facebook and will be promoting it on my blog. Well done!

  5. Dave

    I do understand the necessity of rules.When the Muse comes down, be ready to write till you’re exhausted, until you’re ready to pass out, until you are done! Then, enjoy the euphoria with the considerable hope that others will enjoy it too!

  6. Stephanie Smith

    I really want to right a book about my life it has been a very hard life but now at 52 I’m ready to tell people what I’ve been through so that maybe they can understand you can through a lot and still be ok. I am glad I found this site maybe you can help me.

  7. sandrine

    I think the list is okay. But there should be no rules how to rewrite and every book may and should be different. If I would rewrite my books 5 times, I would never publish because I would never be sure if I should do it a sixth or seventh or eighth time.


    Mostly , i appreciate writing too many long sentences

  9. old writer in a new suit

    #21 seriously?

    #26 what? Used enough contractions? How many should I use? Is there a ballpark figure I need to aim for? Is there some range that is acceptable?

    Sorry. I usually love this site but this list, there are way too many ridiculous items to even be taken remotely seriously.

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