30 Lessons Learned, #13: 250 words is not just 250 words

My manuscript was roughly 250 words long when we began the editing process. We added words as we went along. From what I've heard, this is not typical. But I tend to rely heavily on images to tell the story and my editor wanted the book to work well as a read-aloud for the youngest audiences. I agreed. I think we ended up at roughly 400 words. Probably only about 100 of my original words are in those final 400. I considered getting all math-geek on things and doing massive word counts, etc., but I decided to let that go and give you this equation:

250 original words times 1 bajillion words (about those 250 original words) from my editor divided by 1 gazillion words (about editor's 1 bajillion words) from me = 400 words (or thereabouts).

If you've ever looked at a picture book and thought, "Even I can muster up the strength to write 400 words", I encourage you to consider the equation above.

Still, I love the editing process. My editors keep me honest and they make my stories better.