I like to go through a writer’s work as any first time reader would so, my comments will reflect that. Take note that my corrections and comments will always be in dark pink. Additionally, please view this editing example along side the original as there be many deletions which obviously can’t show up in dark pink. 🙂
OK… let’s get started….
Davis / Adelina’s Wings – I like this title. It’s sounds as if a little girl will fly away at some point. I already feel like I have a small sense of what the story is about. That’s good. Titles should reflect the content of the story.
Once upon a time there lived a little bluebird whose name was Adelina. She had been born without wings, but her feathers were as soft as a cloud and her eyes were the very same colour as the bluebells that blossomed every summer.
Ok… this is quite a strong first paragraph.
However, to give it more impact you could rearrange the delivery of the information. For example…
“Many years ago… there lived a little bluebird named Adelina. Her eyes were the same color as the bluebells which blossomed every summer and her blue-brown feathers were soft as a cloud. Adelina was the prettiest little bird in the meadow except, she’d been born without wings.”
So, this is basically the same info.
However, by waiting to tell the reader Adelina had no wings at the end of the paragraph, gives it more drama. Think rhythm in your writing. We speak differently than we read. Begin to understand how a reader takes in and processes a writer’s work.
Also, “Once upon a time” is tired, old and done.
However, you’ve introduced Adelina in quite a strong way and I’m already feeling pulled in by the story.
One day, Adelina was playing in the spring water when she heard a voice call out, “Oh no!”
Adelina looked up and saw The Three Fairies of the Willow Tree. They looked so worried! “Our enchanted ruby has fallen into the spring and we cannot find it!” The Green Fairy said.
“I see it,” Adelina told them, “It’s underneath that twig!” She bent over and moved the twig out of the way with her beak. Then she picked up the ruby and hopped over to the fairies.
“Thank you so much!” The Pink Fairy said. “To show how grateful we are, we shall give you a gift.”
“We know of your wish for wings,” The Blue Fairy said, “But wings are very special, so they are hard to come by. Take this seed, plant it and from that seed shall grow a fluffy creature who will be as wonderful a friend to you as you have been to us.”
Adelina scratched a little hole in the ground right there by the spring and dropped the seed in. The seed did in fact grow to be a fluffy creature. That creature was called “Pweeble.” He lived in the forest with Adelina inside her nest of daisies and rose petals.
The creature “was called” Pweeble? Did Adelina name him?
As an example, I’ve added the first sentence as clarity. Small details like this add a lot for the reader. A reader builds the scene in their head as they read your story.
They needed to visualize where the seed was planted and how Adelina planted it to make it a clearer scene in their imaginations.
Pweeble sat with Adelina every morning, watching her friends fly from the branches. “I wish we could fly together!” he would say.
Adelina sighed. “Me too, Pweeble,” she said.
Later that morning, Adelina was using her beak to tidy up her nest. “What do you love most about your home?” Pweeble asked.
“Well, I love how it keeps me warm on chilly nights,” Adelina replied.
When Adelina had finished tidying up, it was time to have breakfast. “What do you love most about your mornings?” Pweeble asked.
“I love waking up to your funny singing!” Adelina said with a giggle. Pweeble chuckled too. He liked to sing very high notes.
When breakfast was finished, it was time for Adelina to brush her feathers. “What do you love most about being a bird?” Pweeble asked.
“I may not have wings,” Adelina said, “but I am very good at building nests, hopping around, and chirping. And I’m a very happy little bird, with a very lovely little friend! I am glad about so many things.”
“Adelina…” Pweeble began, “can we please visit The Willow Tree Fairies now?”
“Of course, Pweeble!” Adelina said, and they made their way to the big willow tree.
OK.. a lot of this is a really nice interaction between Adelina and Pweeble.
2 things strike me as I read it…. The actions are very ordinary pedestrian tasks and why the heck is that bird named “Pweeble.”
It’s important to put a lot of action into any story and you’ve done a pretty good job of that so far. It’s just that kids love an adventure. You’ve already created a world where birds and fairies talk to each other… keep it unusual and adventurous.
Also, since the fairies don’t have “real” names then their titles become their names. Therefore they are capitalized.
“Hello Adelina! Hello Pweeble!” The Pink Fairy said. “We have a surprise for you, Adelina. Take Pweeble to the spot in the middle of the forest where the light is magical and put him under the sunbeam. There he will change into his true form.”
Adelina and Pweeble were very excited. Pweeble knew exactly what was about to happen, even if Adelina did not. Soon they reached the spot in the forest, where the sunshine was bright and the plants and flowers looked so friendly.
After Pweeble hopped into the sunlit spot a curious thing began to happen. The sunshine became so brilliant that Adelina could barely see him and a glittering mist began to swirl around him.
Slowly, the light became clear and the mist began to disappear. Where was Pweeble?
Adelina rushed towards the sunlight. When she stood underneath it she felt a tingle on her sides. She looked at her sides and saw a pair of beautiful blue wings!
“Pweeble? Where are you?” Adelina called out.
OK, this is getting really fun and is a great example of what a children’s book can be.
Pweeble is “giving” his wings to Adelina. Just be careful of the over use of commas.
“I am here!” Pweeble’s voice called out. It sounded very close. Adelina turned around, but she could not see him. “I’m right here!” he said again as if he was standing right next to her! She was sure his voice was coming from her new wings.
“Is that you, Pweeble?” Adelina asked her wings.
“Yes, Adelina,” he said, “and now we can fly, like we always wanted!” Adelina jumped up and down with joy. Pweeble began to flutter the wings and Adelina lifted off the ground. OK.. “we??” There is no mention that Pweeble can’t fly and that he has been longing to. Please make this clearer.
Soon they were flying through the trees, and Pweeble began singing in the same funny, high-pitched way he did every morning.
Adelina giggled, “I love you so very much, Pweeble.”
OK… this is a nice story.
I like how it ends and I like a lot of the interaction between Pweeble and Adelina.
To make it stronger… show us more interaction between these two. They are best friends and Pweeble was created for Adelina.
That’s a big deal.
It would be nice to see even more of their dynamics within the relationship… and give us as much action as you can pack in.
I like how Adelina is a happy little bird in spite of the fact she was born without wings.
That’s a strong theme and great message that can ( and should) be emphasized even more. Adding humor is always good too.
Small details can add a lot to any story without dragging it out. I’d love to know a little bit more about the Three Fairies. They seem quite magical. All in all you’ve done a very good job here.
I would suggest running this through some free readability software online to determine the age range you have written for. Then I would suggest getting to know the children’s book market if you intend to sell. Most kids books have an audience with no more than a 2-3 year age span.
I encourage you to find some good illustrations and tighten up the story a bit and you’ve got a good one here. I genuinely hope my critique has been helpful. If you would like to contact me directly please do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may want to check out other editing examples below…
The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing Childrens Books
Please contact Renee at: email@example.com