Thursday, October 18, 2012

Editing Checklist #1: The Heroine

Note: these were written with a romance heroine in mind.  If you write other genres, I hope it will still be helpful, but you might not need all the questions.

- Does her name stand out?
- Is she attractive?
- Does the reader get a good/accurate physical picture of her (without going overkill)?
- Does she have a complete background story (even if not all of it makes it into the book)?
- Is she someone you can identify with ('cause if you can't, the reader probably won't be able to)?
- Does she talk like a real person?
- Does she talk like a woman?
- Does she talk like an individual?
- Does she make love in character?

- Is she complex (quirks, contradictions, layers)?
- Does her past inform everything she says, does, and decides?
- Does she have relate-able personality traits?
- Are those personality traits effectively shown?
- Are some of her strengths introduced before her weaknesses?
- Are the qualities that would make someone want to be friends with her shown (esp. important if, like me, your heroines tend to come off overly bitchy)?
- Are her emotional reactions consistent, except for when she's confronting her fears & beliefs?

- Do her strengths correspond to the hero's weaknesses?
- Do her weaknesses correspond to the hero's strengths?
- Is she convincingly attractive to the hero?
- As the book progresses, does she grow into a woman who can have a relationship with the hero?