editing example, adelina's wings

‘Adelina’s Wings’ – Editing Example


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: thewritersnexus@gmail.com  

You may want to check out other editing examples below…

‘My Mom’s A Ninja’

‘Spike’s Planet’

‘Afternoons With Seeya’

‘Croc’s Crust’




If you’d like to know how to avoid mistakes before writing your kids book checkout myhow to write a childrens books, 7 deadly sins of writing childrens books, editor, be a better writer ebook…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Writing Childrens Books

Please contact Renee at: thewritersnexus@gmail.com


Metered rhyming verse for kids, editing example, developmental editing, freelance writer, white paper writer

Spike’s Planet – Editing Example Of Metered Rhyming Verse For Kids

Spike’s Planet

In Search of the Greatest Treat

Thank you for ordering my developmental editing service. 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 take a look at your metered rhyming verse for kids,

I like the title and subtitle. It already suggests a dog as the main character and a lot of fun.

Hello ______ !

Thank you for coming along with me, 9

But are you ready for what you’ll see? 9

Adventure, trouble, even a monster or two. 12

Ok, not monsters, but the adventure part’s true! 13

My name is Spike, and I’m very smart. 9

I use my nose, my head, and my heart. 9

Yet on this adventure I need a friend 10

To help me make it until the end. 9

OK.. quite a good start. Metered rhyming verse for kids is the toughest way to tell a story and you’ve done a nice job here so far.

The numbers at the end are the number of syllables in the line. Along with the rhyme the beat pattern should stay the same. It’s off but I’m not going to get too strict with it. The biggest thing is the storytelling. That should always be paramount.

So far you’ve introduced us to Spike as if he is talking to us. That’s a nice approach.

What you haven’t done yet is clearly defined that he is a dog. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking the pictures do part of the storytelling and that they will or should ‘fill in the blanks.’ They never do that.

Pictures are there ONLY to backup the text. The text always does the storytelling with kids 4 and up which you’ve stating you are writing for here. The pictures are there to be a redundant source for the text. Text and pics should match.

Having said that, since the title seems to strongly suggest the main character is a dog, make it clear Spike is a dog. He’s invited us on this adventure we should be clear he is a dog by now.

It started on my daily walk.

Met a cat and had a talk.

Then I saw the sign on the post.

World’s Greatest Dog Treat contest on the coast.

I love, love love treats can’t you see.

That’s why the winner, must be me.

The top dog will earn a lifetime supply

So now you see why we have to try.

Together we can go on a journey so great,

Pack your bags, grab your leash, no time to wait!

Hold on… I guess if we are going to explore,

We don’t need that silly leash anymore!

OK… this is nice rhyming and storytelling although the beat pattern is all off. Remember you are trying to accomplish something very difficult here – Metered Rhyming Verse For Kids.

Although, I really like the idea that a dog who loves dog treats wants to enter a contest where the 1st prize is a lifetime supply there are a few missing details.

To make this stronger it needs to be more specific.

For example, it says Spike goes for a walk and sees the poster for the contest and decides to enter, then he immediately tells us to pack our bags. Yet, it’s never said that the contest is for those who can find the best treats. Is that the case? Or is it finding the best recipe and then baking them? And where are they going exactly? Is this a national or international contest? It just says it’s on ‘the coast’.  Small details like this make a big difference in storytelling.

First place to check? The USA!

Good thing it’s a sunny day.

I’ll take a bite of Chicago’s best.

Their pan pizza’s better than all the rest.

So is their apple pie, and fried chicken can’t lose.

How are we supposed to choose?

But our journey just started, this couldn’t be it.

We have to taste each and every bit.

America has delicious snacks and pie

Now to Italy we go with a plane in the sky.

OK… so where is this taking place? You saw a sign on a walk saying there is a contest for the World’s greatest dog treat on the coast, but not which coast.

Then it says we should check the USA first and then it goes on to state popular US foods. Where are the dog treats?

If it’s a dog treat contest you can connect these types of ‘people’ foods to Spike and dog treats specifically. We also need to know which coast the contest is on. We also need to know if you are looking for actual dog treats that someone else made or a recipe to make them.

Also, with metered rhyming verse for kids you’ll need to make these foods specific to Spike.

After all, he’s the main character and the one excited about this dog treat contest. Tell us how and why he gets so excited about all these different treats. What do they mean to him besides a pleasant treat. Help us get invested in Spike.

Also, find a way to remind us of Spike’s name. Spike is a good name to rhyme to anyway.

As well, it’s never a good idea to have just one character in a story. They don’t have the opportunity to have dialogue. Maybe give him a sidekick? The cat maybe?

Rome, the capital, is a beautiful place

But why is that man, giving me that face?

Bellissimo!” Who are they?

Bellissimo” We better run away!

They think my spots are pepperoni? No!

Where or where can we go?

My tummy is growling, we need a snack.

Gelato will bring my energy back.

Maybe spaghetti and lasagna as well.

Oh yum yum yum, it all tastes so swell.


Bellissimo!” They still want me as their treat!

These spots are cute, but not to eat!

Although, Italy had meatballs full of taste,

Let’s cruise to Mexico with no time to waste!

Mexico welcomed one and all

Should you be short, furry, or tall.

They have great salsa, spicy and hot

And they eat it quite a lot.

The flavors here are sure to inspire,

Except I feel like my mouth is on fire!

These treats are great, but we need to try more.

That is what this story is for!

If we don’t like spicy, maybe we’ll like sweet.

China is where we might find the treat.

OK… it’s fine that you want to take your reader around the globe with metered rhyming verse for kids like this, but you’ve got to anchor it with the contest. Always make logical links and character connections in your storytelling. Make it specific to the contest which you introduced right at the start.  

China is the oldest country to date

With plenty of time to make food taste great.

Look I see treats, being made in a bunch.

Guess it’s good we forgot to eat our lunch!

Oooh sticky rice cake, tofu, and beans.

They even have peas and collard greens!

China is preparing for the Chinese New Year

It is the biggest celebration here.

We better go and not get in their way.

I’m sure we will come back another day.

Alright, if treats are what we are looking for.

Let’s try India to find some more!”

It’s starting to feel kind of rushed for a story set in metered rhyming verse for kids.

This is the trouble with trying to fit in too many people/places/things where there is a generalized theme. It starts to sound repetitive instead of like a fun adventure. If you concentrated on a couple of countries and had more food adventures connected specifically to the dog treat contest then it would be more engaging.

Maybe Spike (and company??) try to help one of the bakers or chefs and screws it all up. Again, bring it back to the contest. Does Spike have to make the treats? Perhaps he just finds them and brings them back? Maybe he ‘cheats’ by trying to hire a renown chef to make the treats for him and pass them off as his own? The more specific you can make it the more detail and humor you can put into it.

Wow it’s beautiful, but… Who is that?

I am Ganesha, as a matter of fact.”

Ah yes, the Indian God quite well known.

The god of wisdom and his courage is shown.

Try the Laddu.” Ganesha gave us a dish.

It is better than I could have wished!

A ball of rice dough with nuts on the outside

It is mixed with sugar and delicious inside!

So sugary sweet, and oh boy I am full.

The taste is incredible, it was wonderful.

Oh no. I can’t move. We need a break!

Too much food can make your belly ache.

Let’s thank Ganesha for showing us around.

It’s time we go to Africa and see what can be found!

I really like that we are going on a world tour, but it all feels very rushed and we aren’t getting to know Spike. And ultimately that’s how and why readers get engaged… because we care about the characters. Who is Spike? Bring his personality to the forefront. At this point it feels like a very quick food tour of the world yet we’re not getting to know anyone or the cultures very much.

Hello travelers.” Awe, this Monkey is sweet.

Hello! We are looking for the best treat?” – Where did the monkey come from and why? Specifics pls.

Monkey Bread! That’s what you need”

It comes from a fruit that starts as a seed.” – Doesn’t all fruit start as a seed?

I tasted it and what the monkey said was true, – What did the monkey say was true?

While we eat under the Boabab tree for two.

Be careful! Don’t become someone else’s treat!”  

Roar! That sure brought us to our feet.

Run! Run fast!” Keep running with me,

I think there are more lions behind the tree!

Let’s get our tasty adventure back on track,

Maybe Iceland would have a delicious snack.

Iceland is cold, but it feels good on my fur.

Wait, did you hear that? It sounded like a purr.

Ah! It’s a cat! Does she have what we need?

These are treats for you. So tasty indeed.”

We open the seal because it’s closed pretty well.

Oh, no! NO! What is that smell?

Why is a cat meeting them in Iceland and what is sealed that needs to be opened?

There are a lot of assumptions being made as to how the reader will interpret this.

How does the cat know they are looking for treats? Does the cat hand them a bag or a box of treats? Small details make a big difference. It helps the reader visualize the story… and no, pictures do not fill in the blanks.

Bleck. I know it smells bad and my eyes want to cry,

But we wouldn’t be treat testers if we didn’t try.

It’s delicious fish sardines. Yum yum!”

The silly cat sang with a happy hum.

Although I don’t quite like them, there are people who do!

Everyone has different tastes like me and you!

So, now that Iceland is out of the way

It is time for Germany for a nice splendid day.

Whoa… this is head spinning in terms of how many different countries you’re fitting in. The trouble is this doesn’t allow the reader to get to know the landscape at all or the people in it. We don’t even know Spike that well. Narrow down where Spike goes to find great treats and keep connecting it to the contest and the fact that Spike loves treats. The more you do that the more you’ll have specifics to work with and the more your audience will be invested in the story and Spike.

When in Germany, let’s do what they do!

They are wearing lederhosen, so we should too!

Bavarian costumes with matching shoes

Everyone’s dressed up, in any way that they choose!

Oktoberfest has bratwurst and pretzel’s so large

We need to find just who is in charge.

Try the schnitzels.” The bear said with a grin.

In Germany their food could definitely win.

Waffles, schnitzels, what could they not make?

There is so much for us to take.

There are lots of German words here that are not described. So, if you don’t know what they are you don’t know what they are. Kids may have trouble with this.

I don’t know how much more I can eat,

It is so hard to find the best treat.

Germany had food from the ceiling to the floor,

But let’s go to England, it’s almost next door!

London is a place with tea to drink,

And delicious biscuits. At least I think.

We’ve been invited by the Queen for tea.

She owns all of England, as far as you can see!

-Why? Why would the Queen of England invite a dog looking for treats over for tea? Kids may not be sophisticated enough to articulate something like this, but they always know when something doesn’t make sense.

Leaps in logic can be done only when the characters and their mission have been solidly established. Then you can get away with it.

I thought she’d be the best person to ask,

To help us with this difficult task.

What is the best treat to find?”

She gave me a look that was so sweetly kind.

The best treat of all does not have a taste,

It doesn’t have packaging, can’t go to waste.”

Now I was getting rather confused,

The Queen saw that I was not amused.

The best treat of all, is time together.

With family and friends, that treat lasts forever.”

Now my mind was quite undone,

But we had to go, the contest had begun!

Our worldwide trip was now done,

Wasn’t it just so much fun?

We sailed across the seas and such

And we sure learned oh so much.

Like my spots look like snacks but it’s my fur,

And spicy foods aren’t what I prefer.

Now that we are back, and I’ve hugged my family,

I now know what I had to go see.

The best treat of all was not something you eat,

Family time together just couldn’t be beat.

And now you are part of my family too,

Because of everything we’ve been through.

It’s nice that the big treat at the end is spending time with family and friends. The trouble is not once has it been mentioned that Spike misses his family. We thought this was about the treat contest. Now we find out it’s a veiled lesson on spending time with your family. These are the pitfalls in telling a story that is engaging with metered rhyming verse for kids. 

We won that contest, just so you know.

Now I get hugs wherever I go.

Until next time my wonderful friend.

For now, I must say it is The End.

Dude, give me a high five!

I would suggest keeping this about Spike and a buddy going in search of finding the best treat. Always keep it coming back to that. Have Spike and the buddy go to one or two countries at most. That way they could interact with each other and the locals. Perhaps you could have them engage people in the country they visit to help then with the contest and win a lifetime supply of the best treats ever. The more specific and focused the storytelling the more engaged your readers will be.

Ok that’s it for now.

Need a long blog post for your site? How about an insightful, yet easy to read white paper?

Talk to this gal —> renee the writer at the nexus, white paper writer, freelance writer, philosophical writing

Renee is a writer and graphic designer who creates long form blog posts and white papers.

She also creates the blog post featured images, the white paper covers and graphics including info graphics and co-ordinating social media shout outs.

Contact Renee The Writer as The Nexus:  thewritersnexus@gmail.com

More Editing Examples here:

‘Afternoons with Seeya’

‘Croc’s Crust’

Visit The 4 Horsemen of the Writers Apocalypse

Visit some live examples of Renee’s writing and graphic design, as well as, social media links at: https://linktr.ee/seekcraft1

editing example, copywriter, developmental editor, coach for writers, coaching clients

‘Crocs Crust’ – Developmental Editing Example

This is a (real) editing example of one of my developmental edits for a client.

It’s a children’s story. I’ve helped many new writers in this capacity.

Writing for kids is not nearly as easy as many adults might think.

There have been no changes except a name here or there to protect the writers work.

**As well, you should know I do very little proofreading in this type of edit.**

I like to go through a writer’s work as any first time reader would. My comments and critiques will reflect that and always be in blue and pink. Please note any deletions against the original.

Let’s get started….

Crocs Crust – Titles are Always Capitalized

Chapter 1

Roko is a crocodile who lives in Australia. He grew up in Tazmania but moved to Cairns to live with his cousins. Roko first thought he wanted to be a magician but realized he didn’t have any tricks or magic for that matter! He then thought, You know what I’ll be good at comedy! I’ll become a comedian and travel the world making people laugh! Until he realised he did not have many jokes and the ones he had didn’t make people laugh.

OK… the first few sentences of any book or chapter must be strong so the reader is pulled in. Nothing has happened so far. How about starting Roko off in the middle of some action? That’s the best way to grab a reader’s attention immediately.

What you’ve done here so far, is show how Roko is making his decision to become whatever it is he wants to be. Instead… Show us the action… don’t tell us about what he did or didn’t do… just show us.

**A character’s thoughts are always italicized and never in quotations.** Also, it’s best if you can have your main character with at least one other.

When the main character is alone there’s not enough opportunity to interact, have dialogue or move the story forward with action

One night he was lying on the beach and wished upon a shooting star in desperation, Please star give me something I am good at and I will be the best in the world at it! He sat there in silence and became frustrated.”Nothing?” Roko shouted out loud.

He stood up in a muddle. “Right, thats it! I’m going back to Tazzie. There’s nothing here for me,” he exclaimed as he threw a rock into the darkness and stormed off.

On his way out – out of where? I thought he was on the beach? he heard a loud shout, “Ouch! Hey watch it!”

“Oh, my what was that? I’m in for it now!” Roko gulped.

He sounds like an awfully timid crocodile. OK… that’s fine I guess… we need more action though. Nothing much has happened yet except a lot of yearning and wondering.

**Know when to use capitalization…**

Chapter 2     {Editing Example}

Roko looked around, “Who’s there?” he shouted. Just then he saw two eyes peering back at him.

“What’s the big idea? That hit me in the noggin!” the voice responded. Roko scurried closer and saw a small ferret.

**Different character’s dialogue = different and separate line.**

“Oh! I am sorry,” said Roko, “I didn’t think anyone was out here.”

“Ya, well be more careful next time. I’ll have a bump on me head the size of a mango after that!”

Roko looked curiously at the dazzled friend, “I haven’t seen you around here before?”

My name is Fergal the Ferret! I live across the river in Vogelville! Nice to meet you. You want to join us playing in a game of water polo tomorrow?”

**Capitalize names of people and places, please.**

No,” said Roko, “I’m going back to Tazzie!”

TAZZIE? Too bad. Oh well, let’s share a meal before your trip tomorrow!” offered Fergal.

Roko and Fergal strolled down the river embankment under the starlight. They came across an old pizza shack that looked like it was closing or ready to fall down. They ordered a pizza and 2 lemonades.

Ok, so what is the point of this story?…. it starts out with Roko wondering what he should do with his life and he meets a ferret who invites him to have pizza and lemonade. Kids want action and adventure. Something has to happen.

“Great,” said Roko, “I love pizza!”

Me too,” said Fergal!

“Eat up boys,” said the old turtle behind the counter, “This place be closing soon and won’t be openin again.”

“What do you mean,” asked Fergal,”You’re closing?”

“Nobody wants my pizzas anymore and I’m getting too old for this anyway!” said the old turtle.

What’s your name?” Fergal asked the turtle.

“Terrance,” replied the turtle.

Pleased to meet you Terrance.”

Just then Roko got a brain wave. A light bulb went off in his head. Up he turned to Fergal with wide eyes! It was the wish he had asked for!

Chapter 3        {Editing Example}

Let’s take over the pizza shack! Open our own pizza business!” shrieked Roko.

Roko loved pizza. He knew every type of pizza there was!

He was a pizza fanatic. “Hmmmmmmmmm,” said Fergal as he pondered.

Fergal always had an inquisitive mind, was especially good with numbers and was opportunistic.

I can see how it could work but…….”

No buts. Let’s do it!” shouted Roko, now up on his toes with excitement.

**Please study how to write dialogue and when to capitalize words. Different characters have separate lines for their dialogue.**

The turtle agreed to give the boys the business on one condition; they had to make the best pizzas in the world. So good, that people would travel from miles around to taste.

So they didn’t have to pay for the business? The turtle just gave it to them?

It’s a tall order, but with your business mind and my unbeatable taste for pizza I know we can do it!” said Roko.

Roko and Fergal shook hands, “Agreed!”

Roko and Fergal just met… how does Roko know that Fergal has a good head for business? Also, if this is Roko’s destiny… get him here FASTER!!!

Instead of Fergal and Roko not knowing each other… have them be good friends… get them to the pizza joint faster…. get to the action FASTER!!

You have a pretty good sense of dialogue… even with just the few words that the old turtle speaks… you’ve given him a personality. It’s clear that you can see your own characters and their uniqueness. Now you have to translate that to us in the form of a story. Always set your characters up for more and more action. Get them doing things not just talking about doing things.

This is going to be the best pizza parlor there ever was!” Roko said.

The turtle was delighted with himself that his business would stay open and go on for generations.

That night Roko lay in bed, full to the brim with excitement. It was like waiting for Santa on Christmas eve.

I cant wait to start! What will we call our new pizza parlour? and with that thought Roko fell asleep.

Chapter 4

Roko woke to his alarm, brrrrrrrrr. Wake up is 7am. It’s time to rise and shine!

Roko jumped out of bed and bumped his head with excitement!

So many questions were running through his mind, What will be my first pizza?

What toppings, sizes, shapes?

Where are my shoes? he pondered as he scrambled around the room.

Just get to the action!!! This is not interesting and it doesn’t move the story forward in any way.

He skipped downstairs and grabbed some orange juice and breakfast cereal.

He grabbed a glance at his watch, “Oh my,” he said, “Look at the time! I better get going, there’s so much to do!”

An entire chapter to get him awake and out the door? Think like your reader…. would you want to read this chapter?

Chapter 5       {Editing Example}

Roko arrived at the pizza house very early. He found Fergal already there who was equally as excited as he was.

Too many exclamation points in general. A ?! at the end of sentence is too much.  

“What will we call the place?” Roko said.

Pretty Pizzas? No. Fergal’s Frighteningly Fast Food?” joked Fergal.

Hey! What about Crocs Crust?” said a voice.

Who said that?”asked Roko and up popped a head from behind the counter. It was Terrance!

“Don’t mind me. I have been here all morning just gathering what’s left of my stuff from the shop.”

Roko and Fergal looked at each other, “Crocs Crust? Hmmmmmmm.”

It has a ring to it,” said Roko.

I like it,” said Fergal, “Crocs Crust it is!”

Chapter 6

The store was all polished up and ready to open. There was only one thing missing. The pizzas!

With all the hustle and bustle and excitement, Roko and Fergal had forgot all about the most important part, the pizza! Seriously?

Ok,” said Roko, “I have the perfect pizza toppings. Boots and soda cans!”

Boots and soda cans?” Fergal said, “You can’t have boots and soda cans on a pizza!”

But crocs like old boots.”

Fergal jumped in, “Yeah, but nobody else does.”

Hmm Ok. What about cheese twigs and…”

Better, but still I dont think very many people like twigs,” said Fergal, “Try something more people friendly.”

Ahhhh, I see, said Roko.

What about cheese, pineapple and mushroom.”

Great! Thats it! Keep ’em coming, shouted Fergal. Seriously?

Roko had finally got it!

For hours into the night Roko created the most amazing pizzas all with the help of Fergals friendly guidance!

Now they were finally all set to open their pizza shop. Tomorrow would be the grand opening!

OK… here we go with the deep dive critique…

This entire story could be told in a page and a half max… then you could start the real story. Nothing happens here. There’s too much talk and wondering and pondering and no enough action.

The whole point of a story is to get us to the good parts ASAP. Build a framework for the reader to fill in with their imagination. There’s nothing to fill in here.

I always love stories that are anthropomorphic in nature… use that more. You started to do that a bit and then fell back on the “human” aspects of your characters.

You could start this whole thing off with Fergal and Roko in the pizza shop discussing the purchase of the pizza joint.. then you can take them on a real journey from there….

Have a real point, theme & intention to this experience. If the point to the story is to encourage kids to keep trying things and searching until you find your purpose in Life… great! Then get them to the pizza shop faster and show us what happens…

Will it be happily every after once the pizza shop is opened? No… of course not… it never is. So what happens? Maybe they are wildly successful in their first few months because they’ve come up with a pizza topping that both humans and animals love.

If that is the case, you can show the difficulties and joys of having the human world interact with the anthropomorphic world. Just make it into something special. Something worthy of telling.

Maybe Fergal and Roko become locally or internationally famous for their pizza shop and the new found attention puts strains on their relationship. Maybe Fergal gets a squirrel girlfriend and she wants to “redesign” the place… then maybe Roko suddenly gets hungry for squirrel…

Now… Re: Chapter 4…

Would you tell your friend or spouse how you woke up in the morning, showered, got dressed, made your coffee and made your way out the door? If not, why should we read about it?

I don’t want to sound like I’m slamming you, but I see a lot of this. New writers underestimate the amount of thought, effort and discipline it takes to write a good story. Even if it’s for kids.

So, I encourage you to keep writing. Really think about the point you want to make with a ferret and crocodile who open a pizza shop together on the beach. That right there is an interesting concept… now make a real story out of it.

For more on the writer at The Nexus go to this page….

You may also want to take a look at these curated tips…

3 Questions for a Screenwriter

Check out this book review on Stephen King’s ‘Mr. Mercedes.’

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