After two last swipes at revision this past weekend, I just mailed a final version of Doog, a tall tale-ish manuscript, to my agent. She loved what I sent earlier, but after showing it to my writing group one last time, I decided it needed a bit more work.
For one, I rewrote the opening. The conflict needed more definition. This worked out great because it allowed me to return to my original first sentence — the clever line that initially sparked this story, but I'd cut long ago. I loved that line, but I've also learned not to fall in love with clever (ingenious, cool) passages.
Also, as per my writing group, I had a few confusing verb tense issues. To be quite honest, I'd never even heard the term verb tense. After a quick Google search, I figured it out, and rechecked the story for consistency. Not to sound completely stupid, but I do know about tense. So, is tense and verb tense the same thing? I'll ask my first-grader later this evening.
In a couple of places, I fleshed out the story line. Things were happening too easy for my characters. At the first sign of failure, they turned things around too quickly. Success doesn't always happen after one try. Heck, sometimes it doesn't happen after 70. So, I fixed that problem too.
My agent will soon begin shopping Doog and Grass, and I am fully confident in both stories, even though they each top out at over 1000 words. At a conference recently, an editor spoke about the word count of picture books, stating that, in today's market, word-counts are less than ever before. But in each case, I really do need about 1000 words to tell the story.
In other news: My back hurts.