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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Novel-Writing Methodology: Chapter Checklist

Long before I started writing my novel, I created an outline of chapters, with a synopsis of each chapter. That was the first version of this spreadsheet. As I wrote the novel, I modified the spreadsheet to match the actual novel. Occasionally, I added fields for issues I wanted to make sure not to forget. Those fields became my checklist for each chapter. So for the second draft of the novel, I read each chapter and compared it to my checklist. So, here is the checklist. (Of course, in the real version I used, I had a lot of text written in each blank square, and the checklist was very large, much too big for a blog.)

#PrologueCh1Ch2Ch3Ch...
Title...... ... ... ...
Synopsis... ... ... ... ...
What makes the chapter?... ... ... ... ...
Purposes... ... ... ... ...
Poignant... ... ... ... ...
Relevant... ... ... ... ...
Believable
(actions & characters?)
... ... ... ... ...
Pageturner?... ... ... ... ...
Characters
(strong, consistent?)
... ... ... ... ...
Faults... ... ... ... ...
Humor... ... ... ... ...
Setting
(Readers feel there?)
... ... ... ... ...
Clothing
(appropriate to character, season?)
... ... ... ... ...
Environment
(smell, color, etc.)
... ... ... ... ...

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