Revision fiction manuscripts









What are your revision steps? Do you print the manuscript, take a pencil and read through the text and cut words? Or, do you make a dummy picture book first?

These two were my intuitive steps. Until some comments from my critique partners showed me that some elements of the narration are not in place and I had wasted time by cutting words!

It is like building a house, moving in, unpacking all the boxes, and then realizing “oh! the house’s foundation is incomplete”!

Is there any other efficient revision process? What if I change my starting point? Maybe I shouldn’t start with the words I see on the paper, but with the blueprint of the narration that I don’t see?! What should I check first?

The following steps are my process and may not necessarily work for you. So, please take this as a brainstorming resource. I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions. 

During many revisions of many manuscripts, I always thought of making a checklist.

This is my current Checklist  (By clicking on it download should start automatically). Over the last months, I added, removed, and modified many items. 

I found it very useful when I review critiques on my manuscripts. This checklist gives me an overview of the whole project and I use it as an evaluation tool for comments.

Please let me know if you think any step should be added.

I write blog posts about the craft of writing picture books regularly. The list of the previous posts is on  PictureBookPedia. Also, I publish a quarterly newsletter that includes links to my recent blog posts. To subscribe please just enter your email here:


Posted in PictureBookPedia, Revision.

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