In my writing, I like to use little inflections. Several times in a sentence, I take steps off the main path, creating tributaries like those that feed a river. I do this by using words that — I think — help build the story, or create rhythm or add interest overall. I've seen this style used in folklore, where the author is trying to capture a certain dialect or a colloquial voice. Problem is, my little colloquial inflections add up, causing my word count to skyrocket, making it impossible for me to keep my story within the guidelines of a picture book. Make any sense?
I’ve spent some time the past two days revising my 1000 word manuscript. Recently, an author described it as a social-issues concept book. Tackling a social issue is not my goal; I’m going for fun. Now, I’m trying to drive it into the direction of a tall tale. I’m only halfway through this rewrite, and already, I’ve added 400-plus words.
It’s interesting how deleting four words omitted the possible social issue, and turned it into more of a problem solving, character driven book. But, now, I’m having trouble being outrageous, a necessary ingredient for a tall tale.
Whoever says that writing a picture book is easy — and I’ve met a few who think so — has never written one. At least, not a publishable one.