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Tip Tuesday #88

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature where blog readers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today I have a fantastic tip from Jenna Wallace who blogs at Writing in the Dreamstate. She has a really interesting post up right now called, "How Many Queries Does It Take? -The Sequel" with an average based on QueryTracker stats. But before you run off to check it out, here's her tip!

Want to see at a glance how conflict and tension build through your manuscript?

Use Text Highlighting in Word to do this.

· Assign each conflict thread (internal, external, and relationships) a different Text Highlight color.

· Go through your manuscript and highlight each scene of conflict in the appropriate color.

· Use Save As to save this document with a different filename.

· Zoom out to 10 or 20% view so you can see multiple chapters at one time.

· Start at the beginning and look to see if there is a good balance of conflict threads.

· Look for chapters that have little to no highlighting – these may be lulls in the tension. Make note of the chapter/page number so you can address it in your working document.

I’ve just done a post on this, complete with screen captures, if you want to see examples:

http://inthedreamstate.blogspot.com/2011/05/visually-mapping-tension-in-your.html

Cheers!

Jenna

17 comments:

bfav said...

ooh, I love this idea of seeing your tension map. I'll have to try it.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tip Jenna. It'd be a great way to see where you have those sagging middles. Thanks for the tip.

Steve MC said...

Great tip - I've thought of doing that with an outline, but here you really get the whole sense of proportion in a glance.

Jenna Wallace said...

Thanks for the link Casey! And I hope everyone finds it useful!

Matthew MacNish said...

What great advice! Zooming out is always fun, no matter what you're doing.

Elana Johnson said...

I've actually done this! And it works, especially when you zoom way out and can see the colors. Great tip!

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Great idea. I will save this one, Thank you. Now let's talk about "said" what's your take? http://tinyurl.com/6l9rfea
I think I will also use this tric to show how many times I used said and howw many times I used a substitute.

Kelly Polark said...

Awesome tip!

Victoria Dixon said...

What a neat idea, Jenna. I haven't tried this before. I will have to give it a go once I'm ready. ;D

kathrynjankowski said...

Terrific idea. Thanks!

Stina said...

*rushes out to purchase shares in companies that produce highlighters* :D

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow! This is a great idea!!! Thanks, Jenna. :-)

Ishta Mercurio said...

This is a great tip! And it makes so much sense.

I also appreciate the reminder that zooming way out is an option, so we can see a lot of the manuscript at once. It's a super alternative to printing the whole thing out and spreading it out all over the floor. ;-) Thanks!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

These are all excellent tips! I'm bookmarking. :-)

Ru said...

Oooh, that is a good idea.

Lisa Nowak said...

That's an excellent tip. Thanks,Jenna.

Hey, Casey and Natalie. You guys are doing such a great job with the blog. Sorry I haven't been around to comment lately. I'll try to stop slacking off in the future. :)

Paula said...

I am a very visual person so this is a perfect tool for me. Thanks!!