How do you find fresh eyes to read through a manuscript?
- Don’t claim it. One trick I’ve heard is to put another writer’s name on it and print it out. For example, “Goldilocks by Eve Bunting”. Then read it and see if it lives up to Bunting’s reputation.
- Reimagine it. One thing I’ve done lately is to imagine multiple ways to revise it before I read it, not really writing anything down, but making the story fluid in my own mind. Then, when I read it, the story has to really gel exactly as is, or I’m off trying one of the new ideas.
- Physical form. If it’s a children’s picture book, make a dummy. If it’s a novel, do a shrunken manuscript. Change the physical form in some way – make it big or little or change font or print on colored paper or print on lined paper. Make it novel in some way, so you focus on the words again.
What do you do to come to a story with fresh eyes?