1. In the first 30 minutes, finish up highlighting your pages from last period:
Read through the first chapter (or first five pages) of your project (make sure all five pages are double-spaced, size 12 Times New Roman in its own document)
- In one color, highlight everything you like and want to keep.
- In a different color, highlight everything you dislike, want to delete or change.
- Add sticky notes or comments in the margins about IDEAS and HOW you want to change your manuscript to make it better.
2. Make a list of all the things you want to change in your first five pages.
Once you have made this list, organize it from biggest change, to smallest change.
3. Edit your opening pages for the next 30 minutes. Start with the biggest item on your list.
Overall, your opening should do all of the following:
- Introduce your main character.
- Make readers care about your story.
- Set the tone.
- Introduce the setting.
- Introduce the conflict.
- Show what genre this is.
- Show what your protagonist wants.
- Start with action.
- Start with the inciting incident that gets your story going.
- Make your reader ask questions, but don’t confuse them.
- Lists of Big Picture Edits
- Edits/Revisions on opening pages