Critiquing for Maximum Benefit and Minimum Hurt Feelings–part 3 of 7, BONES, BONES WE DIG FOR BONES

Excellent series. Thank you for sharing, Lisha. ~Suzy Leopold

Sub It Club

Okay. By now you’ve taken advantage of the Sub It Club Critique Partner Matchup.

MATCHSo it’s time to continue our journey toward Critiquing Greatness by looking at another important feature of a manuscript: the bones, or structure.


  • Does the story start in the right place? All manuscripts, whether picture books, early chapter or YA should begin with ‘the day that is different’. You may have heard of authors who write their first draft, then go back and throw out the first three chapters. That’s why. (In addition, many editors/agents don’t like a book that opens with dialogue. Just sayin’–think twice. Make sure it works.)
  • Look for a beginning, middle and end. Even for chapters. Even for picture books. There has to be a reason for each page to exist. (If you lose a sense of momentum, this might be the reason why.)
  • Is the progression linear? Flashbacky?…

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Published by Prairie Garden Girl

I am a wife who is adored by my Sweet Perry. Together we are parents to five boys and grandparents to seven unique grands. Pa Perry and Oma Sue love instilling the love of learning in the hearts of Johannah, Joshua & Jaxon; Henry & Charlotte and Lily & Lane. I am a reader. I am an aspiring children's picture book writer. I am a creator who sews and paints with acrylics and watercolors and sketches with colored pencil. I am an educator to hundreds of students, throughout the years. I am a cyclist on a pink Marin Portofina, and a 5K jogger. Perry and I are organic gardeners and enjoy homesteading on the Illinois prairie. Life is a beautiful ride with my Sweet P. Together, Perry and I feel life is a journey filled with joy. We want to live our lives by leaving the world a better place.

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