‘Glory Fine’ – Kid’s Book Editing Example

‘Glory Fine’ – Kid’s Book Editing Example


Thank you for ordering my manuscript critique service…. Again!

As last time, I will give you my impressions as a first time reader, as well as, offer comments for improvement and/or clarification.

My words will always be in pink. Please note any deletions against the original. Let’s get started…

A working title is always a good idea to include with the manuscript. It helps your critic to connect to the story. I’m looking at your last critique… the title was Glory Fine. We can go with that…

Also, I lost the formatting when I transferred the pdf manuscript to the word doc… so I have ignored the formatting and concentrated on critiquing the text.

Glory Fine

Hey I’m Glory
I’m 5 years old
I live in Florida
With my family
I have three brothers and a sister:
Amelie shes 10 years old
John 7 years old
And Matthew is a two years old

This is a laundry list. Take us on a journey. You’re thinking too linearly and too literally. You can slip in factual information within ACTION. Have Glory and her siblings DO something while you introduce them.

Also, it’s a bit odd that you tell us that Glory has 3 brothers and a sister and then mentions only 2 brothers..

This is what I wrote in the FIRST critique and it still applies now:

**Her name is Glory. That is interesting and special. She has special powers and everyone likes her. Ok, good. How does that show up? What does that look like? Those are the descriptive types of details readers need to connect with your characters.**

 

When I was born everyone said
That I was a really special baby
I think they meant that because i was born with a battery on my hand
Only few children in the world, have such a battery.
My parents explained that the battery turns children into children with super powers
They explained that for the battery to be fully charged, three things should happen
I have to eat dinner, and before bedtime Mom and Dad have to hug and kiss me a lot

OK… the above information is really, really normal. You say that Glory is ‘special’ because she’s born with a battery on her hand and only a few kids in the world have this condition.

Uhm, OK. It’s odd since you haven’t established a world outside of the one we are in, so we’re wondering how it’s possible to give birth to a child with a battery on it’s arm, but we’ll go along with it.

Glory’s parents do a lot of explaining and not a lot of DOING. Stories should be told through a lot of ACTION.

However, the biggest problem is that this ‘special’ battery is charged through eating dinner and getting hugs and kisses from her mom and dad. How is that different than any other kid that WASN’T born with a battery on their arm?

Again… here is what I said in the first critique: **Although I like the visual that her father is literally crushed with love… it just doesn’t make sense if we are talking about regular human beings. Establish this as a different type of human family for whatever reason. Remember life doesn’t make sense a lot of the time, but stories HAVE to or you’ll lose your reader.**

Until age 4, I did not feel the super power
Despite the battery
But,
One evening
WHEN my Dad
Came home from work
I ran to hug him
Just like I did every day
But this time, both of us noticed that I squeezed him

What is unusual about Glory “squeezing” her father when he came home?

I rushed to tell my mother
I must have run too fast
Because suddenly I started to fly
Just like a bird

My parents immediately checked the battery on my hand
And see that it has been fully loaded
It written 100% ???? It written? What does the battery look like? You haven’t built a world around the very unusual circumstance of a child being born with a battery in their arm so we don’t know what’s going on.

They looked at each other
And they said, “Glory it happened!! Your super powers have begun to work.”

When did her superpowers not work and why did they start working now?

And I did not really understand what that meant
I was just happy
I managed to fly – Fly where? Describe the flying. Is she in the house? The park? The backyard? Does she have to avoid birds and trees?

You probably ask yourself what else I can do with these super power
So I’ll tell you:
Me and my brothers have a fun game
They stand on my hands and I manage to bounce them up to the nearest cloud
From there they jump straight back into my hands
It’s a funny and fun game
Here is what I said in the previous critique:** OK… I really like the idea of a battery charged with things like food, hugging and kissing. Incorporate that more in the story.

You’ll have to explain it a little better though. How does the battery charge? Do they hug and kiss the battery and stuff food in it? What does it look like? How does Glory use it to fly?

You’ve given us a great concept here, but not enough detail for our imaginations to visualize it happening. You want your reader to be building a movie screen in their minds as they read your story. Give us more detail and logic so our imaginations can fill in the details. **

Every morning when I get to kindergarten

All the children are waiting in line

That I would give them flip in the air

I have a lot of fun with these forces

I like to fly with my mother

Mother holds me tight in my dress

And we fly from place to place ??? We don’t know how Glory got to this point with her mother and the kids in class. Take us on the journey as to HOW having a “battery” in her arm has affected Glory’s life.

Describe HOW the “battery” helps her to fly and how it affects her physicality. When you don’t fill enough of the details in we don’t connect with the characters like we should.

Every night I eat dinner, I really like to eat pizza with fresh vegetables and chocolate cake for dessert

After that I get a plenty of kissing and hugging

So my battery is fully charged

And my super powers are preserved

A few weeks ago I began to feel strange

I felt that the hug with Dad was not as strong as before

I hardly had the strength to bounce John to the clouds

The climax was in the evening When mom asked me to fly together to the supermarket to Buy groceries And I could not fly

OK… so Glory’s mom can fly too? Or does Glory take her mom by the hand and she flies with her? This is why details are so important.

I was terribly worried mom asked to check the battery

The battery said 23% Mom quickly warmed me pizza and chocolate cake for dessert

After I finished eating I felt my stomach ache Dad said he’d give me kisses and it would pass

My Father kissed and hugged me a lot

Dad told me that everything would work out in the morning

And that I was probably tired And my body need some rest

In the morning when I woke up My parents checked the battery and saw that it had not been charged

And that it now has only 7% they explained that we need to go to The doctor When we got to the clinic I explained to her The doctor? that I felt weak And that my stomach hurts after eating

There are a lot of extra words here and not enough actual action or dialogue. Much of what you’ve written could be pared down to far fewer words and use dialogue by the characters. Action and dialogue are what is engaging for a reader. This is more of a “laundry list” of things the characters do. Do you understand what I mean?

Instead of saying the doctor explained that…Blah, Blah… you could write, Dr. Cartright said in her naturally soothing voice, “Ok Glory, I’ll have you sit on this table. So, you say you’ve been feeling weak?” Then she pressed her fingers on my tummy and said, “It looks like you have celiac disease.”

Or whatever… give us a scene.. give us a slice of their lives.. you’re just talking at the reader right now.

The doctor explained that blood tests were needed I thought to myself that I was really afraid of the needle But I have no choice I want to find out what weakens my powers

A few days later, the doctor called mom And a request to get come back to the clinic

She said that according to the tests I might have celiac and that I should meet with a special doctor at Gastroenterology and do some more test to get a final diagnosis

I was just beginning to worry I did not understand what celiac was I do not like testing And really afraid of hospitals

After we had the test we met with the special doctor called Jane Jean is a gastroenterologist for children

You have to tell the reader what a “gastroenterologist for children” is. Most kids won’t know this word. Is the doctor’s name really Jane Jean? It seems odd.

There is no dialogue here and there should be. Dialogue between Glory and her parents, as well as the doctor. There is just too much talking at the reader. You’re not engaging them in a story.

This is the basic outline for ANY story:

Introduction–> Rising Action–> Climax–> Falling Action–> Resolution

She explained that according to the tests I had celiac And I thought to myself this strange word again – celiac, what is celiac ??

Jean explained that we had in the belly, A pool of receptors called Willy that looks like little fingers Their job is to collect the nutrients from the food And put them into our bodies

Have her SAY this… don’t just tell us the doctor said A-b-c. Give us dialogue. Description. Details!

When a child or adult has celiac He should not eat foods containing gluten Because the immune system attacks the Willy as soon as the body eats gluten And prevents the Willy from collecting the nutrients into the body This causes the body to be weak It bothers him to grow up Causing abdominal pain Just like you had Glory, she said

I’m not sure the explanation of “The Willy” was detailed enough. This part is getting a bit confusing. Unless you can give us more details and description THROUGHOUT the story it’s going to be difficult to tell us about celiac.

Why not equate the battery in the arm with celiac disease somehow? Right now it seems completely separate. You may have been trying to connect them, but there is no reference to a battery in the arm that equates with anything in the medial world. Plus Glory can fly. Flying is great but we have no idea what that has to do with celiac disease.

What is Gluten I asked?

Gluten is the protein found in foods such as bread, pizza, pasta and even cake

So what should I do? I felt the tears choking my throat Because I thought I could never eat another pizza and chocolate cake

Jean explained that today there is planet of gluten-free foods I thought she heard my thoughts .. Even a gluten-free pizza she said

She said I had to eat gluten-free food Abdominal pain will stop And my strength will come back to me

When we left the clinic My mother and I drove To the supermarket we purchased

Gluten free flour

Gluten Free Pasta

And of course

Gluten Free Pizza

When we got home in the evening my mother made me a gluten-free pizza and I had a really delicious meal

In the morning, my parents arrived to the kindergarten with me they explained to the children About the celiac And what I permitted and forbidden to eat

That day mom bought me a new bag And explained that in the bag I could put my favorite gluten-free foods So when I go to friends, to birthdays and trips I can eat gluten free food.

Most of the time I did not eat the food in my bag My friends bought gluten-free food

Although, That was when I came to Alex’s birthday And her parents forgot that I eat gluten-free food And I had nothing to eat on my birthday. I felt really sad I really wanted to eat the cake, the cookies and the snacks

Then I remembered, In the bag my mom bought me I went over to take him and found a lot of things I liked Gluten free chocolate cookies and snacks And even a piece of chocolate cake that mom made for me from special gluten free flour

About a two month after I started eating gluten-free food I began to feel different I began to feel that I had strength again

When dad came home from work I succeed to squeeze him just like I did before the celiac

I ran to mom to tell her ,and I found myself flying in the air

My parents were really happy they check the battery And saw that it was fully charged 100% just as it used to be Next to the 100% appeared a new( +) sign

They don’t understand what the (+) symbolizes

In the evening when I went out to play in the yard with my little brother Matthew I managed to bump it into the cloud just like it used to Only this time he jumped so high That he could not jump back into my hands

And I had to fly to get him back

Mother asked me in the evening to fly to the supermarket together We flew so high Until we reached the moon

Does everyone in Glory’s family have a battery in their arm? I thought this was a very rare thing.. to have a battery in an arm??

The next day in the kindergarten I told the children that I could do some flip in the air again Only this time the flip turn to triple flip

I was very happy that the super powers returned to me And even intensified I understood the meaning of the( + ) battery I realized that when I ate gluten-free food

I’m not just with the powers on

I am with extra powers And since then I have been careful to keep a gluten-free diet

 

OK… I can see what you’re trying to do here. However, it’s difficult to connect to the celiac issue because the story itself is disjointed, has very little action or dialogue and no description or details about the characters or their surroundings.

I applaud you for tackling such a difficult subject matter as celiac disease. However, it’s important to keep in mind the basic structure for any story which is:

Introduction–> Rising Action–> Climax–> Falling Action–> Resolution

If you can find a way to connect the issue of celiac disease with the issue of batteries right from the start it would be easier to connect to it.

Perhaps a different source of energy would be better? Instead of batteries maybe it’s solar panels in our heads? I don’t know. It has to be consistent and it has to draw us in and make logical sense.

 

Maybe Glory lives in a city or world where everyone lives with a battery? Maybe at night everyone’s battery charges by plugging into an underground energy supply.

Show how everyone’s energy is used and how Glory’s energy is used up more because of the food she eats etc. Or whatever.

It’s just that the issue of being born with a battery in her arm seems more like a convenient way of showing what energy level Glory has than being connected to celiac disease.

Also, the technical and medical explanations can be pared down. That part is unnecessary as kids will just want to get the gist of the disease.

Such as, saying Glory’s intestines are not functioning properly and she can’t eat gluten which is a protein many starchy foods have.

Then maybe say the intestines are a long tube connected to the stomach that breaks down food so we can take nutrients from it and gain strength and energy back.

Maybe say one end of the intestines lead outside the body tat the back end. Ha Ha. Kids love bodily function stuff.

The fact is, you’ve got a difficult subject here. To be effective you must tell it more like a story with this structure;

Introduction–> Rising Action–> Climax–> Falling Action–> Resolution

.and have the elements of description, dialogue, detail and action involved.

These are common missteps. I’ve written about them in this ebook…

Thank you. If my words have value please consider leaving positive feedback.  

 


Thank you and I wishing you much imagination…

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