The Top Ten Rewrite Questions

When you’re working on rewrites questions are your greatest ally. They are practical and tangible. You can answer a question, you can realize the answer is already in the text, you can choose not to answer a question. Being mysterious is okay so long as it’s a conscious choice and not a missing plot point. When you’re asking people to give you feedback don’t ask for their opinion, get them to ask questions.

You can question many different parts of your work – the characters, the story, the structure – just to name a few. If you want your writing to be specific, effective and efficient it’s important to question.


The Top Ten Questions to Ask of Your Work

  1. Why is the first page a great introduction?
  2. Why is the last page a vivid ending?
  3. Why will an audience find the world of your play interesting?
  4. How does each scene move the play forward?
  5. Why do you leave each scene when you do?
  6. Does each character have a unique voice in their dialogue?
  7. Are your characters living the story or are they telling facts?
  8. Does each character have a want? How do they go after it?
  9. What is the main conflict of the play? What are the obstacles?
  10. Is there conflict in every scene?

Ask yourself…. how you doin’?

When you’re working on a play or any piece of writing there are some key questions you should ask yourself. Sometimes when we’re in the thick of writing it’s hard to think about why we started in the first place.

What do you want for your work?

By asking and answering some questions you can clarify and focus your goals for the piece. Knowing your goals can be extremely helpful during rewrites. I like to ask these questions after I have a first draft because then I can refer directly to the text and see if my answers are reflected in the text.

If I want my play to be fast paced and action packed, but my play has a lot of complicated scene changes, that’s an issue. Nothing slows down the pace faster than a lot of scene changes. If I want the audience to have an emotional connect to my main character, but my main character spends a lot of time talking in facts, statistics and dates, that’s an issue.

Answer the following questions about the piece you’re currently working on.

  1. What do you want the audience to experience during the performance?
  2. What do you want the audience to remember after the performance?
  3. What are you struggling with right now?
  4. What do you like best about your piece?
  5. What will your audience connect to most in your piece?
  6. Why are you writing this piece?
  7. What do you want to achieve with this piece?