5 Tips to Refine Your Novel, Memoir, Screenplay

5 Tips to Refine Your novel, memoir, screenplayAfter writing your novel, memoir, screenplay all the way through to the end and rewriting, then revising, and rewriting again, (and perhaps again and again and again…), the final step before sending out your story is refinement. Warning: following all 5 tips to refine your novel, memoir, screenplay at the same time you’re doing the final rewrite can be a lot to juggle.

Refinement comes only after you’ve written several drafts, revised and solidified the plot, structure, character emotional development, and thematic significance of your piece. For example, I wrote a rough draft of my current novel-in-progress  The Avenue following the plot prompts from my book The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts. Then I revised the novel using my on-line video course PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month.

Having recently finished a major rewrite based on the revision, I’m now satisfied with a solid plot, structure, character emotional development, and thematic significance. Onto the refinement stage… As tedious as the process is in writing every scene, paragraph, and word perfect, I’ve found the following 5 tips helpful.

  • Track your scenes from beginning to end on a Scene Tracker for the thematic details in each scene
    • This brings you back to the meaning in your story and reminds you of the bigger picture thus bringing a broader view and a tighter integration of each scene
  • Track your scenes from beginning to end on a Scene Tracker for the characters’ goal in each scene
    • even after pre-plotting and revising and rewriting, I’m still coming across scenes where the short-term goal is not definite, measurable, and concrete and thus not moving her nearer to reaching her long-term, primary plot goal. Focus the scene around the goal and suddenly, rather than floating, the scene advances the plot
  • the AvenueTrack your scenes from beginning to end on a Scene Tracker for the Character Emotional Development for each major character
    • I put off creating a Scene Tracker for The Avenue during Revise Your Novel in a Month, thinking I’ll do it now during this final refinement stage. Slowly, methodically, analytically moving through each scene for the 7 essential elements (more if you’re writing mystery, romance, etc.) has revealed at least one ah-ha moment, usually more, per scene
  •  Determine the scene type for each scene
  • Plot your scenes on a Plot Planner
    • Take note of the passive scenes you have and where they fall. Though I’ve done several Plot Planners for The Avenue (one for each rewrite and revision), I’m still discovering scenes to cut or rewrite to create more tension and conflict and pop the scene to “above the line”

I trust you’ll find new angles to explore and develop as you use these 5 Tips to Refine Your Novel, Memoir, Screenplay.

*   *   *

$100 Discount!
Ends September 12th 

The sale on the following 2 on-line video courses ends September 12th.
Buy today and start Revising Your Novel, or
Writing a Picture Book


In this 8 Video (5.5 hours) video course, Plot Expert, Martha Alderson aka Plot Whisperer and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran provide step-by-step instruction on how to revise your novel, memoir, screenplay for a stronger and more promising story.

View your story in an entirely new light
Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing
8 videos (5.5 hours)+ 30 exercises

1st draft you let yourself write any old way.
Now, with the help of Revise Your Novel in a Month, 
revise your story from every angle

Structure and Design
Tension and Conflict
Character Growth and Transformation
Cause and Effect

with Literary Agent Jill Corcoran

1494898783624Picture Books have plots and follow the same design pattern that all stories do.

 Work with Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson and
Literary Agent Jill Corcoran to develop your picture book.



Learn how to write your query and
Submit your work to picture book agents and editors