Here are a few things I read for on a micro-level in my novel after the plot and character arcs are pretty solid, and after I’ve eliminated unnecessary scenes.
1. Read the opening and closing of every scene and ask: Does the opening pull you in? Does the closing make you want to turn the page? If they don’t, then fix them so they do.
2. Showing versus telling: Is there a balance? Am I showing things that I don’t need to show? Am I telling things that I need to show? There are a zillion and one ideas about showing and telling. Your decisions are going to depend on the type of story you are writing and your style.
3. Setting: Do the setting details drive the story forward? Are they colored in a way that provides insight into the POV character and his or her current mood/emotional state?
4. Voice: Is the voice consistent?
5. Dialogue: I read it out loud—multiple times. If my characters are making faces or moving in other ways while they speak I act these things out to see how they look and how they feel. I’d recommend doing this in a semi-private writing space so you don’t freak anyone out. And, sometimes it’s helpful to be in front of mirror.
|"Would he really tilt his head in this situation? I wonder"
I’d love to hear your thoughts on micro-level revision. Do you ever act out what your characters are doing? Or make the faces they make?