Slice of Life Day 4

03.04.15

Over the last three days I wrote a picture book.  I wrote, read, revised, reread, revised, and cut MANY, MANY words. I fell in love with my story.  Some “experts,” (by experts, I mean the top hits in a Google search) say that a picture book should be under 1000 words.  Mine was over 2000.  But, when I cut the words down to just over 1000 I knew the story so well that I am not even sure if it actually made sense, possibly because I could fill in, with my background knowledge of the story, all the parts that were cut.

And then I read it to my almost 10 year old.  She didn’t “get” my story until I went back over it, paragraph by paragraph.  Ugh.  I smiled like I wasn’t bothered by this mini-critic, in my own home, but I was.  I couldn’t help it, and so when I went through the bedtime rituals and trudged back to the solace of my own bed, I didn’t want to talk to my husband or write a thing.

These thoughts crossed my mind, as I laid there: A story should be able to be heard without the need for illustrations and if my audience can’t “get” what I am saying then I need to figure out what’s missing. I am trapped by that number: 1000.  She would have understood the 2000 word version but it is too long for a picture book and too short for a chapter book.  What to do? What to do…

Slice of Life is inspiring me to write, but I suffer from a disease called: MUST HAVE INSTANT GRATIFICATION NOW! Okay, this is obviously not an actual disease but I DO suffer from it.  I wanted my eldest to “get” my story, to love it, to turn and look at me with those blue eyes, with wonder.  It didn’t happen and now I have to move forward.  Getting published is not going to be an instant event.  It will take time, rejection, more time, more rejection, and well, you get the point.  Meanwhile, gonna keep on truckin’…and writing.

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7 thoughts on “Slice of Life Day 4

  1. Yep, keep on writing. That’s all it boils down to in the end. Just keep on writing.

    It’s probably a good thing that you got such critical feedback this early in the process. A gift in disguise, maybe.

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  2. Don’t give up. Keep writing. How wonderfully lucky you are to have a daughter who loves you and respects you enough to give you an honest critique of your book! When you finish writing it will be that much better. That 1000 word bit seems to be putting you in a box. Maybe you should break out of that box. Best of luck with your book.

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  3. I have no clue about writing a picure book, but I do believe with writing in general, w have to “keep on, keepin’ on.” We stick with it, because even tho we can write some real excrement, there are jewels that emerge, if we persevere. Best wishes with finding your writing lane! I, for one, enjoy your posts!

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  4. Love this line: “I smiled like I wasn’t bothered by this mini-critic, in my own home, but I was. I couldn’t help it, and so when I went through the bedtime rituals and trudged back to the solace of my own bed, I didn’t want to talk to my husband or write a thing.” Troublesome children! I love your writing passion . Go girl!
    Julieanne

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