Kid's Book Revisions Home Page

Kid's Book Revisions: Resources

On this page, we post links to resources (book or web) related specifically to revision.


Create This Book by Moriah Elizabeth: A great collection of writing prompts and exercises, to help you generate new material when revising.

A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation by Noah Lukeman: Thoughtful help with punctuation.

The Imaginary World of. . . by Keri Smith: A workbook to help you build a world from scratch; a useful tool when revising.

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl Klein: Klein's second book is a general guide to writing children's and YA, and includes a chapter on revision.

Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld: Though not directly about revision, this book provides interesting guidance with the building and connecting of scenes, which can be regarded as an essential building block of story.

Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise by Darcy Pattison: A workbook to use to plan the revision of a novel. Darcy Pattison has been teaching revision workshops for 20 years--this draws upon that experience.

Picture Writing by Anastasia Suen: A good general how-to, covering both the writing and rewriting of picture books, fiction, and nonfiction.

Revising Fiction: A Handbook for Writers by David Madden: A classic, now out of print.

Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction by David Michael Kaplan: A guide to both drafting and revising, focusing on fiction.

Second Sight: An Editor's Talks on Writing Revising & Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl Klein: Klein's first book, which covers many aspects of revision, as well as other topics, has now been replaced on the market by The Magic Words (see above).

The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers by Matt Bird: Though the author talks a lot about movie scripts, his 122 item story checklist works for fiction writers generally, and a closing section explores revision and rewriting.

Steering the Craft: a 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin: A wonderful general writing guide, with revision ideas and approaches.

The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide (link is to Kindle edition--print edition may not be available) by Becky Levine: The best book we've found on critique groups, which can be a great source for feedback and a big help with revision.

Writing It Right! How Successful Children's Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories by Sandy Asher: Revision is the sole focus of this collection of case studies--Asher gives multiple versions of actual published stories as they were revised, with comments, and covers short stories, picture books, and novels.

Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul: Much of writing is revision, and this how-to helps with revising many aspects--from voice to characters to story to word count--of picture books.

For even more writing guides, consult Writing How-Tos: A general list of writing guides, originally created as a resource for Harold's Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books.


The Art of Detection: One Editor's Techniques for Analyzing and Revising Your Novel: A lengthy and detailed piece from editor Cheryl Klein.

The Art of Revising a Novel: Writers' answers to a survey to find out how they revise.

Book Dissection, Plot Boards, and Revision Tips: Some useful techniques explained.

Critique groups versus beta readers: A useful blog post.

Critique Groups: What to Do and Not Do: In this video, Joyce Sweeney focuses on how to respond to critique group feedback.

Developing Story Arcs with Sarah Weeks: A brief post on creating story arcs, a visual story analysis tool, with examples.

Emma Dryden on Revision: An inspirational essay.

The End Is Only the Beginning by Anita Nolan: A good overview of the revision process.

Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid When Writing Fiction: A lengthy, useful guide to how to edit out "filter words" and why you want to get rid of them.

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups: Useful warnings, with a link at the top to finding the right critique groups.

How to Use a Plot Planner: This visual technique can be adapted to analyze what you ended up with, as well as used for planning.

Jill Corcoran on the plot planner--great for an example of it being used.

Revising Characters: Detailed suggestions, over several posts--follow the links at the bottom.

Revision Roadmap: Laurie Halse Anderson about her use of a "revision roadmap"--how she creates one and what she does with it.

Revision Tips: Index to ten tips from ten published authors.

Shrunken Manuscript Strategy: Darcy Pattison's famous strategy for getting a grip on an entire manuscript.

Six Questions to Sharpen Your Story Beats: Also from Darcy Pattison, these questions zoom in on the "beats" in a scene.

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See -- a great checklist for use when revising.

What Revision Looks Like: A very long story. Author Jo Knowles shows the stages of revision her manuscript went through, with pictures.

Suggestions are welcome, but we will not act on all of them.

Kid's Book Revisions Home Page