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Too many writers seem to believe rewriting means tinkering with the small stuff—lines of dialogue, finding the perfect adjective, fiddling with spelling and grammar. While that is definitely a part of rewriting, it's not the place to start.
Concentrate on the big picture. Make sure your story works. You might have to cut or add scenes or characters, rewrite your entire opening or ending, or even rethink your entire concept. So why spend time perfecting something you might end up throwing out?
Write a one-page synopsis of your story. Use one paragraph for each act. Is the synopsis exciting? Does the story hold together? If not, perfect the synopsis and use it as a guide for your rewrite.
Here are some points to keep in mind when analyzing your story for weaknesses:
• Reexamine your central conflict. Is it as powerful as it can be?
• What is the ultimate story question? Has it been answered?
• What is the story's theme? Can you articulate it?
• Does your story stay on track, or does it meander?
• Does your story have organic turning points (inciting incident, act climaxes)?
• Does your hero face ever more difficult obstacles? Does the plot build momentum?
• Is your hero the best hero for this story? Is his goal clear, does he drive the story, and does he have a character arc?
• What about the antagonist? Is he the best antagonist for this story?
• Are there any plot holes?
• Are the subplots working? Do they contribute to the story by supporting or contrasting the main theme?
• Does the story have an ebb and flow of tension that keeps the audience permanently interested?