If it’s not on the page; it doesn’t exist.
(Similar to Angela’s Law of Getting It Done: if it’s not written down, it won’t happen.) 🙂
Let’s say that your heroine is compassionate. You understand this. As part of the prep for the book, you’ve written 20 pages of this woman’s life story so that you could understand her.
You know she’s a member of Amnesty International, she’s “adopted” a lizard at the local zoo, and she ushers spiders gently out of the bathroom, rather than swatting them with a rolled-up newspaper.
It’s not enough, however, for you to know it. You’ve got to show your heroine acting in a compassionate way on the page.
A major part of a first revision is getting all the material out of your head onto the page. (Don’t worry about it in your first draft. Just make a note on the typescript: “Show compassionate streak”, so you don’t forget later.)
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