Monday, September 26, 2005

A-wahoo and a-rootie too-too!

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.

5 comments:

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Congrats on finishing the edit. I am sending "buy it" and "let it win" vibes out to the publishing universe on your behalf.

rindambyers said...

Yay! Don! Go, brotha, go! And HOW did you EVER get the idea that you are a no-word person!??? I'm confirmed by everyone who knows me as an EXTREMELY wordy person, and you've got me beat to pieces if you compare your blogs to mine! I mean you are at the finish line when I'm puffing on the first go-round! Not a word person????!!! I don't believe it, not for a minute.....from this day on, Don, you are a now a bona fide word person, okay? Okay...glad, we got that settled....

Rinda

Rose said...

Congrats on finishing. That's great.....you should be so proud...

Chris Barton said...

Way to go, Don!

Isn't it surprising how much of your story is still there after you've cut all those words away? Before long, you'll forget what those extra words were, and eventually you'll look back at an old draft and be surprised that they were ever there in the first place.

tem2 said...

Congrats on finishing the book. Picture books are so challenging to write, I'm always in awe of anyone who can tell a complete story in such a compact format.