This week rejection #3 arrived. Three isn’t that many, we’ve all read the horror stories of dozens and dozens of rejections. One of the gals in my crit group suggested using a mock-up or dummy book with my stories to make sure there is enough action and each page moves the story forward.

Looking online for examples seemed to be the easiest way to proceed. Of course there were hundreds of hits. I looked at quite a few, then picked two to work with. The best was Darcy Pattison’s blog ( She has so much useful info I go back to her site often. Check out her blog as a great resource for your writing.

She explains the basic set up: 16 pages of paper are folded in half to make 32 pages for text. Leave pages 1-3 blank, beginning the text on page 4 or 5. The text should spread across both pages from page 6, ending page 29.

If you don’t have enough text, or too much text – REVISE!

If you can’t create a picture in your mind (the illustrator has to have something to work with!) – REVISE!

If each page doesn’t move the story forward, or add to the tension -REVISE!

If you can skip pages without missing them – REVISE!

Cut words if needed, work on the pace, move settings from place to place, add emotion and action if flat!!!

I’m pulling out my scissors, mocking up my story to make it the best it can be before sending it out again!

Thanks Darcy for all of your great tips!