There was something wrong with the “Make Your Marks and Splashes” link I sent out this morning. It’s changed now on the post, but here is the new link if you want: https://illustratechildrensbooks.com/childrens-book-illustration-school-fall-2019/?affiliate=daniduck
I have a few tips that helps me with editing. I’m going to post these below. These are general rules and there may be exceptions. I also asked my friends to give me their favorite sites for Writing and Editing. I will be posting those links below!
Picture Books are 500 Words or Less – Less is more and I’ve heard of trends of 250 words or less. Here are some more kidlit wordcounts: https://kidlit.com/2009/11/13/manuscript-length/ I am uncertain about exact numbers Graphic Novels for kids, they can be Picture Book in page length to a couple hundred pages (for Adults)
Humans Repeat Themselves – Look for repetitive words in your manuscripts. This can help reduce your word count and help keep your story fresh page after page.
Don’t use Illustration Notes: Only use them if you need that note as an important descriptor to the text. If it’s important that your main character is wearing a long sleeve shirt, because they are doing a magic trick later, then keep the note. Not every manuscript needs art notes! If you are an illustrator it is okay to use art notes for your own personal use!
Describe Only What Needs Describing: Picture books should have little or no description. Outside of this there is still the habit of describing too much. The balance of this can be tricky. Your character is travelling from their house to the library. Maybe mention the leaving home and entering the library. The audience doesn’t need to hear how the MC got into the car, buckled their seat belt, spent 15 minutes picking a song, and how the drive was to the library. Anything mentioned about the vehicle should be a literary vehicle to move the story from one place to the next as quickly as possible.
Get a Critique Group: Or individuals who can help you with your story. You might have several people in your group or you might just do a swap with a friend. Critique groups are one of the best ways to get a second opinion on your work. Critique groups for Smart Dummies are opening soon!
The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Words-Writing-Children-Adults/dp/039329224X/