Some interesting thoughts about self-editing from Harold Underdown, via Kathleen.

Writing and Illustrating

harold underdown Harold Underdown – NJSCBWI 2015


By Shiela Fuller

I recently attended Harold Underdown’s workshop, “Editing without an Editor: Tips, Techniques, and Tools,” at the NJ SCBWI conference.

Both new and experienced writers may find a few of his “big picture” techniques helpful as they edit their own work.

Referencing Sandy Asher’s book, Writing It Right, Harold suggested that the writer ask these questions (and more) of their manuscript before beginning the editing process. 

Here are four:

1. Who stands to gain or lose the most by the action in the story? 

2. What does the main character want?

3. What are the obstacles to reaching the goal?

4. Is the story driven forward by the main character’s actions?

The writer could create a scene-by-scene template. The template is a detailed grid used to keep track of scene type and can include additional information such as…

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