Ernest Hemingway's style is minimalist, crisp, and characterized by emotional understatement. He is a master at "eschewing obfuscation."
Legend says that when asked to create a short story in under ten words, Hemingway came up with this:
"For sale: baby shoes, never used."
He once confessed to F. Scott Fitzgerald that he wrote "one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of sh*t." How's that for self-editing?
This is exactly what we need to do as children's writers. Kids don't want to read books that are weighed down by emotional baggage. They want writing that is clear and packs an emotional punch without a bunch of flowery adjectives. The best children's writing is poetic, clear and charged with subtle emotion that bubbles just below the service of one carefully chosen word.
I've been spending my writing time these last few weeks doing some heavy duty brain storming. I've been putting myself through a mini PiBoIdMo (I'm brainstorming the heck out of picture books--coming up with a manuscript a day). When I go back and look at what I've written, I'm trying to come up with a simple sentence to encapsulate my story. And, then later this month, I'm going to cut, cut, cut--and probably throw away a good ninety-one pages.
I hope I have ONE diamond in the rough that survives!