How often do you use narrative summary? Are there long passages where nothing happens in real time? Do the main events in your plot take place in summary or in scenes?
If you do have too much narrative summary, which sections do you want to convert into scenes? Does any of it involve major characters, where a scene could be used to flesh out their personalities? Does any of your narrative summary involve major plot twists or surprises? If so, start writing some scenes.
Do you have any narrative summary, or are you bouncing from scene to scene without pausing for breath?
Are you describing your characters' feelings? Have you told us they're angry? irritated? morose? discouraged? puzzled? excited? happy? elated? suicidal? Keep an eye out for any places where you mention an emotion outside of dialogue. Chances are you're telling what you should show. Remember to R.U.E.
Look back over a scene or chapter that introduces one or more characters. How much time, if any, have you spent describing the new characters' character? Are you telling us about characteristics that will later show up in dialogue and action?
How about character histories? How many of your characters' childhoods have you developed in detail? Can some of these life stories be cut?
What information (technical details, characters' past histories, backgrounds on locations or families) do your readers need in order to understand your story? At what point in the story do they need to know it?
How are you getting this information across to your readers? Have you given it to them all at once through a short writer-to-reader lecture? (see exercise 2b)
If the exposition comes out through dialogue, is it through dialogue your characters would actually speak even if your readers didn't have to know the information? In other words, does the dialogue exist only to put the information across?
Which point of view are you using and why? If you want continuing intimacy, are you using the first person? If you want distance, are you using third person, or omniscient?
Do you move from head to head? If so, why? Would your story gain power if you stuck with a single viewpoint character or broke your scenes up a appropriate places with linespaces to make this possible?
Take a look at your language. Is it right for your viewpoint character? If not, should it be?
Look at your descriptions. Can you tell how your viewpoint character feels about what you're describing?
Take a look at your descriptions. Are the details you give the ones your viewpoint character would notice?
Reread your first fifty pages, paying attention to what you spend your time on. Are the characters you develop most fully important to the ending? Do you use the locations you develop in detail later in the story? Do any of the characters play a surprising role in the ending? Could readers guess this from the amount of time you spend on them?
Do you have tangents--little subplots or descriptions that don't advance the plot? If so, are all of them effective? If you don't have any, should you add some?
Are you writing about your favorite topics or hobbies? If so, give careful consideration to how much time you spend on them.
First, check your dialogue for explanations. It may help to take a highlighter and mark every place where an emotion is mentioned outside of dialogue. Chances are, most of your highlights are explanations of one sort or another.
Cut the explanations and see how the dialogue reads without them. Better? Worse? It it's worse, then start rewriting your dialogue.
As long as you have your highlighter out, mark every -ly adverb. How many of them do you have? How many of them are based on adjectives describing an emotion (hysterically, angrily, morosely, and so forth)? You can probably do without most of them, though perhaps not all.
How about your speaker attributions? Any physical impossibilities ("he grimaced," "she snarled")? Any verbs other than said? Remember, though there are occasional exceptions, even innocuous verbs like replied or answered lack the unobtrusiveness of said.
Can you get rid of some of your speaker attributions entirely? Just drop them and see if it's still clear who is speaking. Or try replacing some of them with beats.
Have you started a paragraph with the speaker attribution?
Name before the noun ("Renni said") rather than the other way around ("said Renni")?
Have you referred to a character more than one way in the same scene?
Ellipses for gaps, dashes for interruptions, right?
How often have you paragraphed your dialogue? Try paragraphing a little more often and see how it reads.