What do you think makes a good piece of writing? Complete the checklist below to help you in your writing process and to enhance your writing. To improve your writing, think very carefully about any points that you think are problematic and try to work them out as you write.
20 questions every writer should ask
|1. Are you reading a lot – particularly in the genre and category in which you are writing your book?|
|2. Are you writing every day? Have you set a writing goal like, for example, to write a certain number of words per day?|
|3. Have you decided why you are writing? Are there specific ideas and thoughts you want to put across?|
|4. Have you decided who your reader is to be. Will they relate to it and/or react to it?|
|5. Have you thought about what kind of experience you are creating for the reader and what you want their response to your writing to be?|
|6. Are you answering the questions that your reader may have as they go along?|
|7. Is the plot of your novel or story or play etc. believable?|
|8. Is the plot clear and understandable along with your explanations?|
|9. Do you repeat some phrases, perhaps too often? If the answer is yes, identify your repeated phrases and reword them to make them more original.|
|10. Are your sentences well-crafted and not too long?
Do you have too many short sentences? If the answer is yes, could you join some sentences sometimes to make the work easier to read?
Do you change the length of your sentences from time to time for more interesting reading?
|11. Look at your selection of words.
Is every word the best word you can use?
Will another word be more descriptive and better explain what you are trying to say?
|12. Is your story complete?|
|13. Are your characters fully described and well-rounded.
Do your characters’ viewpoints and actions make sense i.e. do they behave ‘in character’?
|14. Did you write multiple drafts, rewriting and restructuring to get to this version?|
|15. Did you put your manuscript away for a week (or more) and then look at it again to get to this version?|
|16. Did you do your research and check your facts that you may have used?|
|17. Has your manuscript been critically evaluated by readers who enjoy reading in the genre and category that you have chosen? (Often feedback from others can seem negative but examine what they say and see if you can use their comments to improve your writing.)|
|18. Do you understand the requirements of the genre and category that you have chosen and does your manuscript fit these?|
|19. Has your book been copy-edited for sense and style and for grammatical and language errors?|
|20. Has your book been proofread?|