Monday, November 5, 2012

Editing Checklist, #2: The Hero

First let me apologize for not being as regular with this as I probably should be.  I'm trying to get better- really, I am!

That said, the first job of a writer is writing, or in my current case, editing.  So cut me a little slack.

Right!  I promised editing checklists, and I aim to deliver!  I compiled these from a wide variety of sources, and they've been hugely helpful for me as I ripped my novel to the bones, then rebuilt it into something (hopefully) respectable.  I hope someone else will find them equally useful.

I'm also curious: what does your editing process look like?  Do you ship your work out to a professional?  Do you do it yourself, and if so, are you as anal retentive about it as I am?  What has worked best for you?  What have you learned along the way?

Okay, enough stalling.

The Hero

- Does his name stand out?
- Are some of his strengths introduced before his weaknesses?
- Does he have quirks, contradictions, and layers?
- Does he have distinctive mannerisms?
- Does he make love in character?
- Does he talk like a real person?
- Does he talk like a man?
- Does he talk like an individual?
- Does he have internal issues that drive him?
- Is he strong- morally, intellectually, emotionally?
- Is he gorgeous?
- Is he driven to succeed in his work?

- Is his inner soft side visible to the heroine?
- Is he the heroine's equal?
- Do his strengths correspond to the heroine's weaknesses?
- Do his weaknesses correspond to her strengths?
- How vulnerable is he (can he cry)?
- Is he so sensitive he comes off as wimpy?
- Is he so strong he comes across as abusive?

- Does he have a complete background story?
- Does he react to current situations based on his experiences?
- Do his reactions stay consistent?
- Do his reactions make sense given his personality/ past?
- Does he grow throughout the story?
- Does he confront his issues/ beliefs at the end?
- Does he change enough to make a happy ending believable?

- What does the heroine see in him that makes her fall in love with him?
- Could you fall in love with him?

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