As I’ve said before, write, write, write until you reach the end of the story. Now that you know how it ends you have to look for holes in the story like where you left out information or placed things in the wrong order. Did the character shoot a gun he didn’t bring? Is it cold or warm outside or maybe day instead of night? When you wrote the travel scene did you remember to check the timing for travel especially if you have characters that all need to arrive at the same time?

I open a second document to track important information to the story like:

  • places (if you move around much in the story)
  • key facts and events
  • characters
  • timeline
  • a chapter-specific outline.

I recommend you sketch out a map of towns or worlds, even a house with notes on where furniture goes, so you have something to reference when you’re caught up in writing a scene. It will reduce your mistakes.

Let me pause a moment to say that my writing style is called a Pantser. That means I don’t use an outline and that I just type until the words stop flowing. Others out there are called Plotters. That means you start with an outline with key events documented before you write.

It doesn’t matter which style you use, take the time to build this document. Read each chapter filling in the sections using a few sentences for the chapter summary section. As you document key things will stick out helping to catch those holes and tighten up the story.

Unless you have a great memory (I don’t) and you become a more prolific writer this document becomes an easy reference document to review before you are interviewed or make an appearance. I wrote 15 novels in 5.5 years. It’s easy to forget little things when discussing a specific story as I continue to write other short stories and books while cleaning up the original series. Especially since my brain wants to make a takeoff series. Maybe …

Fangs for Reading! Pat Sawtelle.com