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Toy Mountain - Work In Progress

I find the hardest part of writing is self-editing. When writing your first drafts, the story comes alive. Here you can add and change and give life to your story. Then come the tweaks. And more tweaks. And then you're stuck on a problem part for days. Weeks. Months. You put the story away and come back to it. Breathe more life into the dull parts. Spot words that need to go. What was I thinking with that part! Kill Your Darlings as the saying goes.  But when is it finished? This is the challenge I now face.

So I followed a tip I originally thought was a bit odd but I had reached the point where I would try anything. I was going to make a dummy book of Toy Mountain. I am not an illustrator and a basic line drawer at best but decided to give this a shot anyway for some fun. What a revelation this dummy book process has been! And lots of fun too. I cut and stapled the pages, wrote in the text for each spread and, as I wrote, I could see the story come alive on the pages with pictures completing the story. Drawing is fun even if a teddy sketch looks like a squashed spud (see photo ). Final fine tuning and more editing and rearranging of spreads has made Toy Mountain flow like a true picture book. 

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I feel it is time to let Toy Mountain face a final edit but by the pros this time. I have a manuscript assessment booked with Affirm Publishing editor Clair Hume in a couple of months at KidLitVic 2017. Now to practice my elevator pitch...