So... I admit I miss things when I'm editing. I'd like to say it's because my stories engage my mind so thoroughly (which is of course absolutely true!) But more likely my brain happily overlooks areas which will cause further work. Lazy Brain.
And so I resort to my usual method: trick myself.
This time I'm trying the "find" function (ctrl+f in wordprocessing) to identify passive verb constructions. Just type in your search word and select "highlight all." Just scan the page for highlights and make a decision to keep or slash.
I started with "ing."
|So much friendlier than the|
dreaded red pen.
(image by Colin Brough via sxc.hu)
This search returned "cringed" and "boring" - hey, those ings are just fine.
Then I spotted "was running." Uh-oh! Delete. Replace with ran or jogged or sprinted or whatever the situation calls for. (Not ran fast...no, no I'm still on an adverb diet)
You can also search for: was, had, has, is, are, am. (Note to apostrophacators - those who like contractions- you'll need to search for 'm, 's, 're, and 'd too.)
Some of those results might not identify passive constructions, but just weak verbs. "Is" can be replaced with something better, especially in the economy-of-words-critical picture book form.
I found this method easy and rewarding- less like revising, and more like playing a find the hidden pictures game in Highlights!
Does anyone else have any cheats and tricks to find revision needs?