Monday, January 26, 2015

Snip Snip

Cutting words, paragraphs, pages is a given in the writing world. That doesn't make it any easier. When I first started writing I tricked myself into thinking that I would be one of those writers that would never have to get rid of a character or a scene or sentence (HAHAHAHAHA). You know what I discovered? Those writers don't EXIST. Editing and revising are absolutes when it comes to our craft. You can't skip on either if you want to make your manuscript the best it can be. And as a writer that's all I want. To give justice to my characters and the story they're telling ME.

I also discovered that I'm an OVER-writer. What is that? Someone who likes to use one too many adjectives to describe the color of the sky while the sun is setting when just one is plenty. Words have impact and smushing a bunch of them together to make a sentence prettier isn't going to help you make a point any clearer. I don't want to make my readers wade through them in order to understand what the heck it is I'm saying.

What else do I suck at? Using the same words over and over again. Okay, we all have characters who like to shrug or roll their eyes or mumble and murmur, whatever it may be, but having them do it like a hundred times in so many pages is a bit excessive. Also, you don't want those wonderful characters to injure themselves with all that unnecessary movement. (Did you know if you rolls your eyes too much itwill cause people to permanently cut you out of their lives because they're sick of your passive-aggressive show of annoyance?)

Getting rid of words can be painful. Writers tend to get attached to their work and saying good-bye to something that helped shape an entire book can be hard. That's why you have other people read your stuff and tell you what isn't working, because we can't see the hot mess that is a missing or pointless plot point.

At the end of the day we all have to get our fingers ready to press that delete button so that we can make something truly amazing happen in 70,000 words or less. That's not asking for a whole heck of a lot now is it?


  1. Hahahaha /lifts hand to high-five you

    Been there, overwrote that, and eventually deleted it (and more)

    CP's are pretty awesome. Did you find some good ones in Maggie Stiefvater's CP connection?

    1. Yes, couldn't do this writing thing without people helping me along the way. I found some great connections during the CP connection. Did you put up a profile?