I am compiling a picture book checklist, to make sure I cover all my bases during revisions. Over the years I’ve collected suggestions and ideas from others and have added a few of my of my own.
PB Revision Checklist
- Does the plot have a clear beginning, middle, and end?
- Does the beginning jump right into the action?
- What does the character want?
- What is standing in her way?
- What is at stake? What happens if she doesn’t get what she wants?
- Is it from a child’s perspective?
- Does the main character solve his own problem?
- Did you leave room for the illustrator?
- Remove unnecessary words. The sweet spot for fiction is under 500.
- Check for passive language. Use strong nouns and verbs.
- Do the characters have distinct personalities?
- Read it aloud. Record yourself or have someone read it to you.
- Does it make you FEEL something?
- Print it out. Change the font.
- Check for fun, lyrical language.
- Create a dummy.
- Swap critiques with a couple friends.
- Get a paid critique from an author, agent, or editor.
- Let it sit for a couple weeks. Come back to it with fresh eyes.
- Repeat the steps above as needed.
- Have three polished manuscripts ready before submitting.
This checklist is still a work in progress. What would you add to the list?