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Smooth down the edges.

Don’t leave snags.

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Sliding down a slide with sharp edges is never fun. The same goes for your writing.

After completing your novel's first draft, take time away from it before you revisit it.

Then sit down and read it like any short fiction or novel. Start from the beginning and try to enjoy the ride.

You're looking for moments that catch you and pull out of the story. Maybe it's poor grammar, clunky story logic, or something else, but the moment it happens, work on sanding it down and smoothing it out.

Continue this process until you get to the end of the story. Then set it down for a day or a week, and repeat the process.

The goal is to tell a story with the smoothest ride. Anything that takes us out needs to go. Every rough patch is a fix, and every correction needs more smoothing. Only when the ride is polished to perfection should we dare to take it to the next step.

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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.