I recently went through every scene in my book and created an editorial map using guidance from Fiction University’s Janice Hardy. Plug: Fiction University is a great blog with relevant daily advice for writers. http://blog.janicehardy.com/.
The first part of creating an editorial map means going scene by scene and documenting these elements.
(from Janice Hardy’s guest post at http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/09/the-benefits-of-doing-an-editorial-map/)
- What is the POV character trying to do in this scene? (the goal)
- Why are they trying to do it? (the motivation for that goal)
- What’s in the way of them doing it? (the conflict)
- What happens if they don’t do it? (the stakes)
- What goes wrong (or right)? (how the story moves forward)
- What important plot or story elements are in the scene? (what you need to remember or what affects future scenes)
When I went through my WIP and answered these questions scene by scene I could easily see scenes to cut, and scenes that didn’t have enough conflict.
I spent the summer through October writing backstory and researching. Now that my editorial map is done, I’m back to writing.
This method is working great for me, and I encourage you to give Janice Hardy’s guest post a read.