editing example, adelina's wings

‘Adelina’s Wings’ – Editing Example

Hello;

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’

Coaching…

Editing…

Writing…

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

 

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.’

ALL Social Media: https://linktr.ee/seekcraft1

Email: thewritersnexus@gmail.com