Harder Than It Looks

Making good progress on the children’s book. Taking each page as a single scene, a single beat in the story, is helping, as is thinking of the image I want on the page and using that to substitute for most of the description I would normally put in text.

But man, is it hard to be that brief.

I read that children’s books – the ones made for the age group I’m targeting, anyway – are usually somewhere between 400 and 500 words. For a 28-page story (again, typical target length), that’s only 17 words per page!

I’ve found it’s really, really hard for me to say anything significant in so few words. With each page, as I write it, I keep an eye on my word count, but several times now I’ve blown right by it.

It’s one more thing I’m telling myself that I’ll fix “in post”; that is, in the next draft. I imagine I’ll be cutting every scene down to the bone to fit within the limits. 

Which I guess will be good practice for me: can I hold on to some form of my writing voice, even in so few words?

Ron Toland @mindbat