Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tight writing

As I try to get back to work on my novel. (I took off after the death of my beloved cat Blue.) It occurs to me that I want my story to have one important ingredient. Tight writing. And to have tight writing I have to have powerful verbs. Who could ask for anything more? Except genuine sounding characters, fantastic dialogue and killer hooks.

GORSH.(Yeah, that's my Goofy voice.) Is that all? Um, well, throw in some rich detail (keep it short if writing MG.) and a fast paced plot. Anything more?

Writing five words in place of ten words.

The all important sub-plot. This has to be executed properly. No getting off course.

Hmmm, what about that (UGH) punctuation thang? And grammar too. Double UGH!

Gee! Does that about cover it? Is that what Mr. Shaw meant when he said, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

So that's where the blood that falls onto my computer keyboard comes from. I get it now. OOPS! I forgot one important detail. Words that will make your story fall flat. Just, it, some and my personal darling word that always makes me fall flat on my behind, was.

Well, glad that is settled. Guess I'd better get back to it. Breathe deep, Robyn.


  1. Welcom back to the blood-letting!! I'm totally with you on "tight" writing. My biggest problem to overcome in writing is overtelling. But there are like five wonderful ways to describe something, I just want to share ALL of them. Still... I have to cut out four. Sigh.

    It's awful...I find myself writing stuff like "She grabbed the cat with both hands," when all I had to say was, "She grabbed the cat." I mean, what else is she going to use to grab the cat, her ears??

  2. I'm all for tight writing. Easier said than done, but we can get there. As a writer, I always see myself as a work in progress. (Ok, so I am a WIP in other areas, just ask my husband:)

    I learned a lot about tight writing from the courses I took some years ago from the Institute of Children's Literature. I'm thankful for this great and helpful info that has stuck with me. Haven't arrived yet, but heading in the right direction. Sounds like you are too! :)

  3. Good luck. I'm doing some tightening on one of my WIPs. So many things need to come together for the end result to be tight. Thanks for the reminders.

  4. I'm so sorry for the loss of your cat. Last month my cat got in the dryer. He's about nine and had never done anything like that before. It was an awful night. Thankfully, after our superhero vet came to the rescue he pulled through. It's hard when you get a pet that touches you. My cat before Stripes died almost fourteen years ago. I still call his name once and a while.

    Keep your chin up! Have a safe holiday.

  5. Blood on the keyboard. Now there's a great lyric or opening line. I'm right there with ya, trying to keep it tight.

  6. Breathe deep indeed. I don't get to tight writing until the millionth edit. ;)

  7. What? My writing could be better? Surely you jest! Ha! Ha! I try not to stress too much with the first draft, but I'm ruthless when editing.

  8. You can do it! And, glad you are feeling back in the swing of things. Happy Thanksgiving :D

  9. Love the look and feel of this blog.

    Also love your description of writer's pain.
    Another cool quote from Oscar Wilde when someone asked how he'd spent his day: "I spent the morning putting in a comma; and the afternoon taking it out."

  10. Yes, just breathe deep and try to enjoy it! This is supposed to be at least partially fun. ;P

  11. You're doing great, hang in there. I'm so proud to call you my friend. :)

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

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