A picture book usually provides 32 pages for me to fill up. I have the freedom to be creative and the space to use adjectives. Wonderful, delightful, awe-inspiring adjectives! To rewire creativity into my brain, I had to use the thesaurus to find words other than "impact" and "profit." I aim for about 600 of these delicious words for a picture book draft.
As research I looked at a few of my old business recommendations: 1 page, single-spaced, 1 inch margins, about 600 words. 600 words? What the coincidence?! Little did I know I was training to write children's books during those years of solitary confinement in my cubicle.
(Sidenote: It is difficult to avoid the obvious conclusion that executives are like children who can only sit through one book before growing bored. In their defense executives are very busy people who only have a few minutes to review your reco before they go finish their pillow forts. Though I do wonder how many more approvals I may have received if I had included more pretty little pictures.)
Picture books challenge authors to bring a character to life, create an emotional bond with readers, and complete an adventure all within a few words. Writing efficiently is also a survival skill in business. Corporate training frequently uses George Orwell's writing rules, though of course boiled down to something like: