|Less is more?|
“I like your writing a great deal, and while the narrative is skilfully handled it just didn’t quite get under my skin sufficiently”
“Your manuscript displays strong writing abilities and you've created potentially interesting situations and characters”
How can I turn "Nearly" into, “Yes, please?”
I get bowled over by details (the images and associations behind every interaction) they make me start and stutter. I know more than the reader needs to be told.
1 When it comes to details, less is more
Even with a plan and character descriptions, I re-think every scene, every day, before I write. Have you ever compared the time it takes to write a section, with how long it takes to read it back?
2 Just write.
Once a month, I research the library lists, Lovereading4kids and agents’ lists of up-and-coming titles. Is there anything left to write that isn’t already out there? If the supermarket shelves show what was hot, does the car-boot sale show what will come again?
3 Write what you would want to read
I capture note books full of ideas, each one complete with a voice and hook. Shaping a work-in-progress should be a joyful thing. Why do new ideas conspire against old ones? When did ideas become a distraction?
4 Resist temptation, and finish.
Short sentences are powerful. Long sentences let the writing flow and steer the reader down the page to ever more excitement. Fragments... really? What do readers need from punctuation, except clarity?
5 You need to mix up the sentence lengths and let each type do their job. There are books and websites burstin' with information. Try to avoid breaking the rules of writing.
Editing, re-editing and revisions, I’ve read all the rules about how to re-master for the perfect manuscript. I chop and change until I mess up the voice.
6 Keep the writing simple, the plot controlled and the tension high
Writing is a personal achievement, but not an insular pursuit.
The art and craft of writing is not all about the writing.
Are you feeling positive about your writing process?