Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Impossible Picture Books

So, today I actually have positive things to report! Since Thursday night's coffee shop session where I tackled an extremely short picture book, today I managed to work on The Peculiar Princess, and I managed to rough out about 1,000 words of the story -- which is about 3/4 of the book. I have only the ending to write out and the first draft will be complete!

Yay! Go me! LOL.

But now for the bad news, because it wouldn't be a Karyn blog without bad news.

You picture book writers already have a pretty good guess about what the bad news will be. Did you happen to catch my word count in the paragraph above? (Go ahead, check it again.)

See it now? Yup, there it is. One THOUSAND WORDS AND NOT FINISHED.

I've written another unpublishable picture book.

See, in today's market, picture book agents and editors will rarely look at anything over 1,000 words from a newbie like myself. In fact, they actually want to see books that are 500 words or less! So you see my problem?

But my natural inclination, my personal preference -- and this goes back to when I was a young un' reading picture books for the first time -- is for longer stories and fairy tales with gorgeous pictures. Apaprently that's what my subconscious wants to write too.

What's a girl to do? You're supposed to write the book that you'd like to read, but if no one wants to publish it, then what?

A question for another day, I guess. Right now I'll just worry about finishing the darn thing, revise the hell out of it and see what happens.  Hopefully my critique group will have some words of wisdom for me next week, because I'll be turning this sucker over to them on Friday.



  1. Reading your post made me think of the book The Whingdingdilly by Bill Peet. It's a perfectly cute little story but comes in at a whopping 64 pages!! (pub. in 1982) You just don't see many books like that published anymore. But don't worry Karyn, we'll help you get it down to size.

  2. All Bill Peet's books are ridiculously long and were still some of Conor's very favorites. He even read Bill Peets autobiography (twice)! In any event, Karyn I take issue with your statement that you've written an unpublishable picture book. You've simply written the first draft of your undoubtedly fabulous picture book. This is why the word revision is part of our vernacular. Can't wait to read it.