Friday, January 25, 2013

Writing Life

Last time I discussed my writing, I was moaning about how overwhelmed I felt about editing.

Well, this past week I stopped whining and consulted my expert researcher Ms/Mr Google - s/he is an hermaphrodite- and discovered a nifty book called Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. This book is so on fire that it impacted my writing before I even received it. How do I mean? Well, I read an excerpt of the first chapter online and realized what was wrong with my own first chapter right away. In a word -well several words- I was explaining too much and not letting the characters live. I was giving all kinds of background and history and what not. A whole lot of info that had me saying in my nephew's voice: "who cares?"

I guess the avid reader in me knew the problem all along, but the writer in me resisted deleting a single word. I mean those words were agonized over and carefully chosen by committee. I was loathe to let even one of them go. But I eventually did just that and the story reads a bit better. So I am happy. And less overwhelmed and even excited.

I forgot I was working today and had planned to walk up into the mountains and write until dark but alas, the job that pays the bills takes precedence over my creative pursuits. Thankfully, it is a dreary rainy day so I will settle for cleaning my house.


Mere Mortal said...

Two thumbs up!

A writing book that helped me feel better about editing and deleting words is "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser. Apparently, its highly recommended by others too. In fact, I hope to apply its techniques to write my 100-word short story piece. :)

Oluyemisi Olotu said...

I need to get that book then. I have loads of words to delete again, and it is causing me mental anguish. LOL.