As writers, we spend so much time agonizing over our words that we tend to get attached to them. It’s hard to look at them critically when it comes time to revise. Here are some tips to help you edit your own fiction or nonfiction picture book in three simple—though not necessarily easy!—steps.
Step 1: The Big Picture
Before you worry about the nitty-gritty, make sure your story works at the “big picture” level. Ask yourself the following questions about your story.
Step 2: Scene by Scene
Now let’s zoom in a little closer. Start by breaking your story into spreads. You can do this by making a dummy or by simply leaving an extra space between spreads in your manuscript. You’ll need 12–14 spreads for a traditional 32-page manuscript.
Step 3: Polish Your Prose
Now that you’ve looked at the big picture and the scene by scene view, it’s time to zoom in even closer and scrutinize each sentence.
Lisa Amstutz is the author of more than 100 books for kids and many magazine articles. She also offers critique and mentoring services for writers. See www.LisaAmstutz.com for more information.
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