A wordy novelist to the bone, I’ve been trying to writer shorter. This has been a challenge. Nothing helps writing like reading, though, so I’ve been reading and looking at lots of flash fiction (Thanks for the reminder, Ron), picture books, and graphic novels. My sister-in-law Sara Qualey is a painter, and she pointed me toward the amazing woodcut wordless novels of Lynd Ward. Ward, of course, was the well-known illustrator of many children’s books and the author-illustrator of more, including The Biggest Bear, which won the 1953 Caldecott. His wordless novels are stunners.

Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels,
by David Berona, provides a wonderful overview of Ward’s books and those of many other artists, including Frans Masareel (1889-1972), considered the granddaddy of wordless woodcut storytellers.

Interesting stuff, and very good medicine for someone who usually needs about 50,000 words to get her point across in a story.