Seeing the Big Picture

A Pen In Each HandBy Beaver

Have a complete story/novel that you can’t seem to stop editing? Try this. First, read it straight through without changing a thing. If you find this impossible, you may have more success swapping stories with a friend and doing this exercise for each other. Once you’ve read your whole story, set it aside and just think about it for a while. What are your themes? One or two main themes should consistently guide the action. Did anything seem out of place or seem not to fit? Scenes and chapters should run seamlessly together to build the story. Don’t worry about the details–just think about what images and ideas linger even when the words aren’t in front of you. For more about seeing the big picture, read Stepping Back.

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