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The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

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Chapter Eleven

When It’s Finally Time to Fine-Tune

The second draft should almost always be a complete rewrite of the first, and this wisdom might easily apply to the third and fourth drafts as well. Nevertheless, though I’m reluctant to admit it, you do eventually get to a place where you’re finally ready to start tweaking, and that’s an entirely different set of skills. Now that the personality of the main characters and the general order of events are pretty much locked in, you can make changes that are less likely to snowball. Now you can start sharpening each plot point, punching up every line of dialogue, highlighting the theme, etc.

Step One: Re-Humanize Your Characters

The most important quality characters can have is to be organic. They ...

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