41 Revision Prompts From Pleiades

The good folks over at Pleiades have forty-one fantastic revision prompts to kick-start your fall writing. We’re listing a few of our favorites below. Check out the entire list over at their website.

1.

Make a list of all the decisions your protagonist makes, every single one. Now change the order of the decisions your protagonist makes so that they follow a causal change. Rearrange your story to reflect this new list of decisions. Cut at least one decision and, if this applies, the corresponding scene. Now restructure the story again. Many stories are not ultimately in complete chronological order. The *plot* should still be the same causal chain, but the story might utilize flashbacks, memories, flash forwards, imagined scenes, etc.

10.

Identify the “symbolic action” in each scene–what does the protagonist do that represents her/his change from where/who s/he was at the beginning of the scene (even if this change is slight), and which changes the situation (even if this change is slight). Add symbolic action where you are missing it. Try to get the most significant symbolic action for your protagonist close to the end of the scene.

17.

Write past your ending. Write one or two or more scenes after the end of your story. Even if these scenes don’t make it into the final version, they will help inform the final version. What happens after the end of your story? And don’t stop there: now write about what the consequences are of what happens after the end of your story.

31.

Restructure your story so that it starts at the most recent event and moves backward in time. Think about the causation here. Also think about the character’s possible paths and how those paths narrow by the choices they make.

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