Tag Archives | micro edits

How I Write: Boxing match of the century: Revision vs. Writer

Announcer: Hello folks and welcome to today’s exciting event. In one corner is the Writer, and in the other corner, Revision. 

 Crowds go wild.

Announcer: It’s been six weeks since the face off when the writer left the ring. You heard it right, folks. But the Writer is back and in top shape. She’s been training for this night for over a month. Let’s see if she’s got what it takes.

Revision curls its pages and glares at the writer. No words are needed.

The writer chews on peanut MnMs, then cracks her knuckles.

Announcer: The bell rings and the match has started. Writer jabs to the right and leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the manuscript.

 Revision curls over, gasping for air.

 Revision: You’ll never fix me now. Your line edits won’t make a dent.

 Announcer: Writer doesn’t give in to Revision’s trash talk. Instead, she attacks. She cuts and pastes and rewrites. She trims and tightens. She checks each scene for goals and motivation. We’ve never seen such action from our Writer. Revision is folding under the weight of sensory details and strong verbs.

Crowds throw red ink pens at Revision.

Announcer: Writer backs away, exhausted, her fingers limp, her eyes crossed from the strain. Does she have the strength to make this a knock out? But wait, folks. Revision is back on its feet.

Revision flaunts the typos, overwriting, and forced emotion.

Writer wobbles on her feet.

Announcer: This is not looking good for our Writer.

Crowds quiets. Everyone bites their fingernails while clutching onto their favorite novels.

Writer: Help!

A murmur spreads through the crowd.

Announcer: By golly, folks. Three crit partners have stepped into the ring and hold up our Writer by the arms. They whisper and point and then leave the ring. Writer stands tall and with one last KAPOW, the Revision crumbles.

Our Writer is the winner!!!    

Statement in Newspaper of play by play plan of attack by Writer:

Take a 4-6 week break from your manuscript. Then print out and read through.

Macro Edits:

  • Goal/motivation
  • Inciting incident
  • Three-act structure
  • Big twist in middle
  • Plants and payoffs
  • Emotion
  • Tension
  • Time line

REWRITE and repeat as needed.

Micro Edits:

  • Strong verbs and nouns
  • Dialogue
  • Sensory details
  • Internal thoughts
  • Micro tension in each scene
  • Description/setting

 And that’s it, folks. That’s how the Writer defeated Revision. Writer is open to any tips or suggestions.

 (Check out Ansha’s blog for a complete list of participating writers!)





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