Day 4 – Clarify the Goals and Motivations

This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days  at-home workshop (

Today’s assignment is to tackle any weak or missing goals and make sure the character motivations are clear, logical and moving the plot forward. I can either continue making notes or start editing from my previous ones.

I decided to start editing. Unfortunately, I waited until late at night to begin and I soon became mired down in decisions I was too tired to make, like deleting an entire chapter and deciding what parts needed to be merged with other chapters.

I did manage to make some revisions from my notes and it felt good to check them off. I did a find/replace for some words I needed to make consistent, I added a clarifying sentence for a change in plan, and I addressed a need to make my protagonist more approachable on the first page. There are other notes of things to check on that I haven’t done yet, because I need to decide where in the book these revisions/additions are needed.

Results: I am disappointed I didn’t get more accomplished, but I am also pleased that I was able to check off some of my notes. I discovered my goals and motivations are pretty tight and that makes me feel like my story is on the right track. I am excited to move forward.

Take-Away Value:

Try to start when you’re fresh and pace yourself. While it is important that you don’t find excuses to not sit down and edit, recognize that real life sometimes gets in the way. Don’t beat yourself up – just get back to work as soon as you can.


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