Step 4: Revision Guidelines Previous Next

Now that you've completed the challenges, it's time to begin rewriting. Rewriting, or revising, is an important part of writing. I do a lot of revising when I write. I want my story to be as perfect as I can make it.

When you revise your mystery:

  • Read it aloud. Your ears will catch awkward wording that your eyes didn't see.
  • Listen to your characters' dialogue. Does it sound natural? Does it fit the characters?
  • Tie up all the loose ends of your story. If a minor character — Jason — offers to help the main character — Kim — search for a missing friend, by all means bring him back after the friend is found. Don't send Jason off to wander in the night forever.
  • Use exclamation points only when one of the characters, or the writer, is exclaiming. It was a wild, exciting ride. Period. No exclamation point. But with, "What a wild, exciting ride!" the exclamation point is right.
  • Make sure you haven't used the same word two or three times in the same paragraph. All writers have had this happen. It's easy to do. Try using a thesaurus to find synonyms.
  • If a sentence is too long, with too many clauses or phrases, it can be confusing. See how you can shorten it.
  • Double-check for words that trip you up. Don't use you're if you mean your, or their if you mean there. Remember that it's means it is, and its (without the apostrophe) is possessive.
  • Use your spell check or dictionary to make sure that words you're unsure of are spelled correctly.

Now you should have a finished mystery story. Let's move on to
Step 5: Publish Online!

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