Monthly Archives: June 2018

Pare Down, Write Up

When finishing the first draft some people have found that the rewrite means they have to pare down their story. Most first time writers are assumed to have this problem and I have heard suggestions of taking out up to 20% of the excess. This has to do with overwriting. There was a time when a writer could fill pages with description without the reader complaining. Now the story needs to move along at a good pace and not be slowed down by too much description.

The opposite end of things some writers need to rewrite things in such a way as they add to the story. The story is too concise and the writer needs to add more to it to help the reader be in the story. Sometimes this means adding things like description because the writer leaves much of it out.

Both these require the writer to know enough about their style to know which they have to do when they get that far in their piece. Sometimes this is evident and other times it helps to have a beta reader.

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Moving Day

I’m not big on change. I don’t like having to adapt to a different environment, even if it is a better situation to the one I was in. Unless I’ve had plenty of time to think about it and have decided that I really don’t like it. So, moving is something I really don’t want to do but there isn’t anything I can do about it. Especially since I collect books and those get heavy really quickly.

One of the things I am going to miss the most is the space. I am going to be rooming for the rest of the summer, which is a big step down from my two-bedroom apartment. One of things I appreciated most about moving into my apartment was not having to use my bedroom for my writing space. Now I will go back to sleeping in my writing space. I believe writers should have writing space that is different and away from other living space. But one has to have the money included in the quote to have “a room of her own”.

Write What You Know

Writers get this advice from everywhere. Books, writing teachers, facebook posts, twitter tips, and “helpful” friends. I don’t know who started or where or what thought was behind it. I was very surprised when a writing instructor I had announced writing what you know was necessary. The lesson of the day was that you needed to know the smell, taste, sounds, textures, and sights before you can start writing about something. The whole class went to an area with more sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and textures than our regular classroom and we were supposed to write using those to show that we needed to write what we know.

But if I only wrote what I knew I would never write a word. Sure, I collect weird facts but those aren’t really enough to write whole stories on. I don’t even know my characters before I start the story. I get to know them as I write. Unlike a piece of advice I read, I don’t know the name of their third grade teacher. If I knew that the characters wouldn’t be a fun for me to write.