A happy song I learned from my son which describes how I'm feeling right about now. I was able to get my manuscript down from a word count of 2,334 to 1,583, and now down to an all time low of 1,321, just under the submissions guidelines of 1,500 words. And to think, just six months ago, I considered myself a non-word and non-numbers person, although I'm still not claiming a love of numbers. All the while, and most importantly, I maintained the integrity of the story. Cool.
Part of the trick was realizing that some of the details of the story can, and will be told with pictures (Here I am talking like this manuscript has already been sold). It's a picture book afterall. Just going through and omitting words that can be illustrated helped. I think it's important for a writer to think visually. And as an artist, I appreciate when an author provides plenty of visual clues. But the trick, I think, is balance. If a guy's wearing a tall blue polka-dotted hat, there may be no need to say it with words. Let the artist paint it.
Once I started cutting details, cutting became easier. I mean, if there's not much in the way of elaboration on the first few pages, it didn't make sense to end the book with alot of detail words. Cut em!
Somebody better buy my book! A brotha is working hard.
Now the idea of shopping this manuscript around, and the inevitable rejection letters I hear so much about brings me down just a bit. But not enough to change the mood of my a-rootie-too-too post.