Make Your Story Happen How-To Guide Step 4

Mark Twain is quoted as saying:

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

Step 4—Reflect—is all about revision. You reconsider and alter what you wrote in the previous stage. Remember, you got down all the information you could, so you’ll have plenty to mark out!

Become reader-centered.

The last step was about talking to yourself. In this step, you’ll turn to the reader and think about how they’ll relate to the book.

Revision is the key to effective writing.

Here, think more deeply about your readers’ needs and expectations.

  • How much support will each idea need to convince your readers?
  • Which terms should be defined for these particular readers?
  • Is your work’s organization effective?
  • Do readers need to know X before they can understand Y?

There’s a field in business now called User Experience (UX). It is concerned with enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.

Readers are books’ users.

As a writer, books are your product.

Make your product’s UX stellar.

Page Power

At this stage you also refine your prose, making each sentence as concise and accurate as possible. Make connections between ideas explicit and clear.

I play a game now where I see how few words I can use and still accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish. It works in business emails, in fiction, even texts. After my first book, ‘Living Gold’, totally sucked, I went back and realized it was because my writing was bad, unfocused, hard for people to follow. Now I know.

Make an impact with each word. Give your reader’s the most bang for their buck.

Continue to Step 5: Perfect