You’ve heard of writing prompts, now we have revision prompts! Each prompt will give you a specific writing issue to check for in your WIP, along with tips on how to fix each. Going through this process one issue at a time will not only help polish your current novel but will also teach you specific ways to improve your writing for your next story.
A HOOK: If you’ve been writing for even a short amount of time, you probably know that you need something on the first page to get readers interested enough in the story that they just have to turn the page–usually with tension, conflict, or a burning question.
CHAPTER HOOKS: Hooks also work very well at the end of each chapter, because that’s often a good place for readers to stop reading for a while. The goal of a chapter hook, then, is to give the readers a reason not to put the book down, to make them want to read “just a little longer.” These mini-hooks also use tension, conflict, or a burning question.
DO A SEARCH for the word “chapter.” For each, scroll up to the last couple of paragraphs of the previous chapter. Evaluate this mini-ending with a hook in mind. Is there something that will push readers into the next chapter? Or does it feel flat, with nothing to draw the readers into next chapter?
If the chapter ending doesn’t have a sufficient hook, try these techniques:
FIX 1) look above the last few paragraphs. Is there a more natural hook there? If so, can you simply chop off everything after that hook? Or maybe rearrange the order of the paragraphs so the hook is at the end?
FIX 2) If not, take a look at the beginning of the next chapter. Is there a way you can add something to the end of the previous chapter that would connect it to the next chapter?
FIX 3) If all else fails, tweak the ending of the chapter to add something (or take something out) that will leave the reader wanting more, needing to flip the page to find out what happens next.