The Long and Short of It

6 Jul

Summer is in full swing and I’m realizing how different summers feels now that I’m adult.  No long, lazy days by the pool for me–although I think this is just what Green Bean would advise in the 100+ degree heat of Missouri!  Life has been incredibly busy and poor Green Bean has been neglected, so this month I have decided to rededicate myself to the blog.  In today’s post, I want to update on the project and then talk about a challenge I will be working on to improve our publishing odds.   

Since my last post, I received some feedback.from my friend who is critiquing the book.  Although she did not critique on content yet, she suggested that I slash the word count in half to get the book under a 1,000 words–what she considers a publishing standard for picture books.  This is what I feared–the book is way too long!  

In this process, I’ve discovered something about my writing style related to word count.  When I first write a story, it is generally a good length–somewhere between 800 and 1, 500 words.  But once I start revising, I tend to add a lot of descriptive words and phrases that end up doubling my word count.  If I was writing for older readers, this would be great!  “The Adventures of Green Bean” began as a 1, 500 word story, it ballooned to a 2, 600 word story over the course of several revisions.  This week, I have started revisions once again.

I have received a few more rejections from agents and I think that by revising and getting my word count down, I will better our odds considerably.  Once I talk to Kevin about any edits, I will send out more queries. 

This month, I have decided to practice trimming my work down and I want you as a critic.  I have two drafts of a story called “Green Bean and the Lemony Rain Boots.”   At each revision, I am cutting down my word count.   I will post one draft per week until I get my word count under a 1,000 words.  Look forward to the first installment next week!


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