Just before the holidays I received an email with some wonderful, thought-provoking suggestions from my editor for a new picture book manuscript. Here’s a fun tidbit: The manuscript was 515 words. Her email? 769 words, not counting the salutation and closing :-).

I point this out because a lot of times new writers believe that shorter means less work. Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes it isn’t. To be fair, even though her email was longer than my manuscript, her comments only pointed to a few things, with suggestions for how to approach it. She did a great job of providing examples to help guide me, but kept it pretty broad overall and covering two basic areas: amping up the humor in a few places and expanding my concept/theme. Like any good editor, she left the details up to me. My first attempt was okay, but felt lacking so I’m tackling it again.

The moral of this short tale (223 words): Be prepared to revise once a manuscript is accepted. Be open to ideas, but if your vision is different, don’t be afraid to express it. It’s a collaboration, one designed to create the best possible story.

With the help of my fabulous agent, I am now able to see what I might do to improve the story and can’t wait to get back to it.