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Breaking Down Your Chapters

Buried in the Slushpile

One of the key parts of any children’s book revision plan is the chapter or scene breakdowns. These are chapter (or scene) summaries that highlight the main points of the existing edit.

Chapter summaries can be extensive multi-page entries for each chapter, or they can be a single paragraph. It really depends on your personal style and preference.

My chapter summaries tend to be a few paragraphs. Anything more than that, and I feel like I’m simply rewriting everything again. (But, again, there’s no right way to do this. It’s whatever works for you.)

Once you’ve made a revision outline and your chapter summaries, you can plan the specific changes you’ll want to make in your next draft.

I like to do this in another color so I can easily see the changes when I reach that part of my revision.

For example:

In the original they go to where Mom disappeared to find the portal, but that didn’t make sense for the pacing (or plot) of the story. This way, they get to action faster.

With this particular method, I can easily see which parts of the chapter can be kept pretty much intact (the very beginning) and how much needs to be rewritten (basically all of it).

From there, it’s just a matter of doing the actual rewrite of your children’s book.

You know, the fun stuff!

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