On the Floor.
Let’s talk about what you do not see in a finished piece of writing. That is the bits that get cut out for one reason or another. I tendy to be wordy. I like them. I like shaping things with them. Words, Words, Words.
My end goal is to have the reader be able to see in their mind the detailed picture that I do. I understand that people will not see exactly the same thing, but I want them to have a clear, sharp image of what is happening in the story, what the characters ought to look like. I am not trying to eliminate the reader’s imagination, but rather give them a highly developed framework and let them color in the details. That is the problem with me though. Do I go too far and go from providing a framework to attempting to spoon feed the reader?
Sometimes I do.
Today I am spending a little time thinning out some extraneous text because (and this is vital for writing I think) someonelse read through the story. It was pointed out that some text was just extra and would distract from the main story, add length and potentially put off readers who may not wish to plow through long-winded prose.
Advice from another writer or beta reader is helpful. With it you can turn a good piece into an extraordinary piece. Seeing your work through the eyes of another can help you grow as a writer, sharpen the work itself and get engaged in a dialog. That’s what happens with the finished piece at least.
Then there are the bits that for one reason or another do not quite make it into the story itself. Stuff that I write down in my notebook as a good idea, that never quite makes the cut. Or after reading a second or third time does not look quite as good as when it first came off the pen.
For my latest short story I had written down a scene with the principle character and a shopkeeper. They talked about parties of adventurers raiding the dungeon. The whole thing upon re-reading seemed a little to much geek for the average casual reader. I did not put it in and glad I made that choice.
Editing is hard and takes time to become good at. It also requires the use of tools such as test readers. There are of course times when even editing cannot save a piece of work. I’ll discuss that next time.
Thanks for reading, I’m glad you stopped in!