Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Sixth and Final Checklist is Up!

Welcome back! I hope we all had a good summer. You’ll notice that some things have changed and a lot has stayed the same. We have a new title and banner, but the same basic content and architecture. I thought about creating an all-new site, but I was afraid that if I updated the old site too much, it would become too similar to the book and my publisher wouldn’t like that, so I realized that the best way to make sure that the old content stayed online was to change it as little as possible.

So I’ll be back to publishing 3-5 times a week as we build up to my big book release in early November. At first, the material will look familiar (checklists, etc.) but gradually it will get more exciting (videos, podcasts, etc.) I hope you’ll enjoy it all and I invite you all to give me lots of feedback in the comments.

As for today’s content, I have a big announcement: You can click this link to visit the sixth and final checklist!  Version 1 went up five years ago, and gradually expanded to 140 questions by the time we got to v5. But my book editor, as editors are wont to do, wanted to chop it down, so we ended up with 122 questions. I’ve now adjusted this one to match the book, and I’ll presumably freeze the checklist in place here so that it’ll always match the book.

What’s missing? Hopefully nothing essential. In many place, two questions have simply been combined into one. Other questions were cut entirely, but I did that with your input: Last spring, I invited readers of this blog to vote on which ones to cut and which ones to keep, and I for the most part followed that advice. So if you miss a question, you mostly have no one to blame but yourself (or your fellow readers.)

One thing I announced in that process was that I’d cut the entire Tone section, so you may be surprised to see it’s back! The publishers kept changing their minds about how long they wanted to the book to be, and they finally told me I could to add that section back in if I cut it in half. I think that’s the ideal solution, as I’m glad to have this half back and I don’t miss the other half.

In all the work of sending edits back and forth on the book, there were a few questions I lost track of, and only realized too late that my editor had combined some questions that I wish hadn’t been combined. The only one that kind of bugs me is this one “Does this scene both advance the plot and reveal character through emotional reactions?” That should really be two questions, but oh well.

Tomorrow, we’ll take our new checklist out for a spin and try it out on a great movie…

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