Picture books should have about 500 words. Not 700, not 900, and NOT 1,075!! Mom dug out (from inside her computer) an old story of hers called Mail for Jessica. She always thought this would be her official Book #2. Waaaay back then, when picture books were about 1,000 words, Mom framed the manuscript and hung it up because she was THAT sure it would be snapped up and published any minute.
Cut to a hundred million years later (yesterday), and that big, overgrown story is still hanging unpublished on the wall and still sitting unpublished inside the Dropbox. Mom said, “It’s too long!” and “There are so many words I don’t need.” and “Where’s your stuffed watermelon?”
Just like people and dogs, picture books should have only what they NEED. That’s what makes a story tight and fresh and filled with possibilities for success.
Mom needs her ice pack for a little while each day. She says she does NOT need my bony head on her sore leg.
Sometimes, cutting out the extra stuff isn’t as easy as it sounds…..