I realized a couple of days ago that I was saying, "No, no sweetie," to one of my characters, very much like I say it to my 1 year old when she's misbehaving, instead of listening to why the character was doing what he was doing.
Reading a simple book to the same 1 year old last week, I realized the plot (such as it was) just dropped at page 4 when the book ended. So the 1 year old kept trying to find more pages, but alas, the story was over. Not a good thing to do in a children's book and not a good thing to do in a grown-up book either.
Sometimes a picture is enough. In toddler books, there are all sorts of pictures, in my books, I have to draw the picture with words. A little more difficult but as I finish up revisions on the requested manuscript, I'm trying to 'paint' my words in bolder strokes.
Big words (I call 'em 25-cent-words) shouldn't be used simply because they are long and sound important. The right word for a sentence could be the shorter one...
I may want the last word with my characters - as I do with the 1 year old -but I still need to listen. To all of 'em.
'And they lived happily ever after' really does apply, at least for my wips.
I love this job.