1) Leaving the manuscript alone for awhile
2) The first read-through
3) Making a time-line
This is where we pick certain parts of the story to focus on.Step #4: SELECTIVE READ-THROUGHs
For example, plot.
- Go through your manuscript just examining the plot alone. Not the characters, not the dialog, just the plot.
- Focus on the main plot first and then the secondary or multiple subplots.
- Write down each plot on a piece of paper and analyze whether or not they have a interesting beginning, and satisfactory ending.
- Do you need it or does it bog down the story?
- You might want to highlight in a different color the instance of each character. For example, every time my character Sophia acts or speaks in my novel, I can highlight the words in pink. (This works better in a computerized format or you may be running low on highlighters.)
- After highlighting, analyze whether or not your character sounds real or are they cliche?
- Are their mannerisms or dialogue authentic?
- Do you need that 57th character or can we cap the character list at twenty or less?
Source: Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel