It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. The brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. To read posts from other members, click here.
My lesson for this month? Not to let words get in the way of the story. Just when I think I’m there, really there, I see my
stunning, clever, creative too many words slo-o-o-o-w the narrative.
Cut, cut, cut.
It really is true. When you take a breather from your manuscript you find all sorts of issues. Honest to God, I thought this one was done. But now I see. As lovely as the metaphors are, I have to backspace over them if they aren’t doing anything. If a sentence isn’t adding to a scene, I need to acknowledge it and delete it. Tough love, baby. Killing my darlings? Oh yes. I've become a slasher. If the paragraph doesn’t propel the reader to ask, “Golly, gosh, what’s going to happen next?" I'm taking a razor to it. I’ve found scenes I’ve agonized over that, after multiple edits, have become superfluous. I can’t pretend I don’t twitch before I do it, but finally I get there. Sayonara baby. Adios. Bye, bye.
A confession? The poet in me loves descriptive language. But the same way a poem needs to be pared down to its essence, I have to shave extraneous words from my novels. I’m learning the hard way (as in, agent rejections) that if there is one scintilla of something in there that might lead to a yawn, it’s time to kick that flowery padding to the curb.
It’s been a lot of work lately and my toes are getting sore.