Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When Less is More

I never push quantity over quality when it comes to writing.  In most cases, less is definitely more and I’ll tell you why.  When I edit and revise my novel manuscripts I often find extraneous words that need to be removed.  Words and phrases I have habit of overusing are ‘that’, ‘for a moment’ and ‘he or she felt’.  There are probably lots of other words I over use too, but those are the main ones I seek to remove or in some cases rewrite.

One of my editors asked me to remove around 4000 words from one of my novels.  And do you know she was absolutely right.  It made the story a much tighter read.  I often think writers get carried away with the use of flowery language too which isn’t much fun for the reader when they need a dictionary to look those words up.  Why use five words when one will do?

If you read some of the works by bestselling authors like, Stephen King, Jackie Collins and the like, you’ll find their works are tightly written, making their books a good read.  In other words their novels are page turners.

Another thing some authors make the mistake of doing is either writing too much back story or dumping too much information into the plot, instead of letting it slowly unravel.  I’ve been guilty of this in the past.  That’s where editing and revision come in.  Sometimes it can be a good idea to write the back story to get it out of the way for your own benefit, but then not include it in the story, or include it very sparsely.

I’m keeping this post brief, to show you ‘less is definitely more’!

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