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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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  7. 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.

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

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

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

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  11. 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!

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

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  13. Oooh, that is a good idea.

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  14. 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. :)

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

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