Friday, July 23, 2010

The Life of a Picture Book Part Six: Spit Shining

Once the first readers were done reading and commenting on my ogress story (we'll call it Winifred from now on), it was time to start revising. That involved addressing any questions or concerns the readers had about the story as well as tweaking language, rhyme and meter and make it as fun and readable as possible.

The first readers read the story knowing that it wasn't polished yet. So their comments primarily had to do with the big picture.

The main thing I had to work on first was the logic of the story line. For one of my readers, the motives of Winifred and the antagonist (Grizelda) were unclear. My solution involved working in some backstory to reveal more about their relationship and also to show how Grizelda feels threatened by Winifred's actions.

Once the big picture problems were taken care of, I went through to fun-up the language, adjust for meter, check for forced rhymes, cut an unnecessary stanza, rewrite other stanzas and (deep breath) make sure this story is as gross as it should be, because it is, after all, about ogres.

The next step will be to have a few fellow writers (and maybe their kids) go through it line by line. And I will force myself to leave it alone for a few days in the mean time.

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