As a writer, I need to spring clean my writing files, clean out the old stories and dust them off, perhaps revise them now with fresh eyes. Over the years I've collected many stories, some better than others. But now that I've grown as a writer, maybe I can add a little polishing and make these old ones shine.
As writers, we have good cleaning devices to use to spiffy these babies up. See how many you've tried:
*Writer's Diet: Copy and paste your manuscript of less than 1000 words into the writer's diet, and it will spit back a report of ways you can slim down your manuscript, such as changing "to be" verbs, adverbs, modifiers, better word choices, etc... Is your manuscript lean and mean or flabby to the point of having a manuscript heart attack?
*Poetic Techniques: My writing friend Renee LaTulippe teaches an online course called the Lyrical Language Lab, and she gives a great revising lesson here and explains more about using rhyme, alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, and repetition at this blog post. Adding these poetic devices into our manuscript will make our stories sparkle!
*Pacing: How can you make your story flow with page turns in all the right places? Agent Jodell Sadler gives some tips here. She teaches a class called "Pacing Picture Books to WOW." Try her tips and see how your story changes.
*Mentor Texts: Lastly, my writing friend Marcie Atkins has written a whole e-book and has devoted numerous blog posts to using mentor texts to write and revise your manuscript. I've used mentor texts for my manuscripts. I like to type out the stellar text and study how the author paced the story and the rhythm of words used. Then I try to make mine similar. Below are some posts on mentor texts. There are many good blog posts about this topic on the web.
~mentor texts for word play such as puns
~how to use mentor texts
~character-driven mentor texts
~historical fiction and nonfiction mentor texts
Happy Spring Cleaning, y'all! If you have any revising tips, let me know in the comments!