As I was rejoicing that I finished the first draft of chapter one for my new middle grade novel, I was thinking it would be helpful to have a Chapter Check-off List of items I can make sure each chapter contains as I go back and edit it. Here are some key ingredients I plan to add to my list. If you know of more, please send them my way! Wouldn't it be fun to make a great list for these middle grade novels we are writing to help polish and hone during the editorial process?
Chapter Check-Off List
for Middle Grade Novels
*Does the chapter end with a cliffhanger?
*Is the setting clear but not obtrusive?
*Are characterizations developed to make each person unique?
*Are main characters carrying more weight in each scene than the minor characters?
*Do the subplots work together to increase tension?
*Are the five senses included? Sight, sound, smell, hear, touch?
*Is the level of interest on target for this age range?
*Did anything slow down the forward progression of the plot such as: dialog, unnecessary scene, too much background information, too many details in the setting, bunny trail?
Already, I'm getting ideas to go back and add more sensory details. Let my reader feel the cold air (it's winter), smell the savory soup in the bowl that was handed to my main character from over the camp fire, hear the axes cutting down trees to build log huts...