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The Writer's Checklist

Before sending your manuscript off to the editor or your publisher, examine your story’s plot, characters, conflict and resolution, setting, and readability and ensure all of the following components are present:

The plot should have the following:
✔ Beginning, middle, and end
✔ Strong opening line or paragraph
✔ Brief exposition
✔ Gradual event/scene progression
✔ Climax
✔ Resolution
✔ One Point of View (POV) consistently throughout the entire story


The characters should have the following traits:
✔ Main character has a least one flaw
✔ Main character changes by the end of the story
✔ Main character’s traits are different (or stand out) from other characters
✔ Secondary character (if present) functions as an ally or opponent of the main character and adds essential support (good or bad) to the actions, background, or conflict of the main character
✔ Tertiary character (if present) has one minor function or purpose that contributes to the main character’s conflict, flaw/weakness, and/or strength


The following should be considered:
✔ The story introduces the main character’s conflict or goal in the beginning of the story
✔ The conflict adds suspense and drama, and gives readers (and listeners) a reason to care about your story
✔ Only the main character solves the problem or meets his/her goal


✔ There is at least one MAIN setting where major occurrences take place
✔ The setting pairs well with the main character’s conflict or goal


✔ The reading level is suitable for your target audience:

Word count is below 1,000 words (500 - 700 words is preferred)

- Words and sentences are clear and concise

- The theme of the story is appropriate

- The story reads well aloud

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