July 26, 2013

Teaming up for Revision

When fiction is submitted to the Kid’s Imagination Train magazine, word count is the first thing that is checked.  If the piece is within our word range, the submission is eagerly read. If it exceeds word count, the submission is still read, but it may be rejected because shorter pieces are preferred.

Next, the piece must appeal to children.  Lastly, the submission should have the potential to be easily illustrated.  That’s the beauty of KIT.  Children have the opportunity to illustrate their favorite features. 

If the story meets word count, appeals to children and can be illustrated, but tells instead of shows, is negative, or portrays an unlikable character, a revision is required.  Some editors would reject a story at this point.  But if the piece has promise, I contact the author about editing the manuscript.

When revising submissions for KIT, I work with the authors and allow them to participate in the editing process.  We may focus on creating a kid-friendly character, finding better word choices, or strengthening dialogue.  Upon receiving my suggestions which aim at keeping the plot intact, the author may wish to use all of the ideas or use some of them, or totally rewrite the story.  Then the author sends me her revision. This goes on like a tennis match sometimes, batting ideas back and forth until we are both satisfied.

In my experience, very few submissions are instantly ready for publication.  Revision is part of the writing process.  Having a second reader can be beneficial in getting feedback about the manuscript.  But ultimately, the piece must pass the editor's standards.  Working with an editor helps writers to understand what is expected.  They learn specifically how to identify and then rectify the problematic parts of their story. During the process, patience and dedication is required.  But in the end, revision pays off.  When editor and writer work together, they give a manuscript the loving attention it rightfully deserves.    

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