Friday, October 18, 2013

Writerly Tip #1: No Sledgehammers, Please

I am obsessed with clarity (perhaps a relic from the TV news days) - and thus sometimes I over share, over explain, overdo. 
Reveal, I must remind myself.
Too many facts all at once equals sledgehammer, not story telling.
I have to remember, and I think it bears consideration for others as well, that in real life we don't learn it all, all at once, right?
We reason step by step through problems - and don't always think of the right answers right away, or even come up with the right answers at all. We discover things about other people a little at a time.
Our lives happen one moment at a time, and while sometimes we reflect on past moments that brought  us here, most of us don't live in constant recap mode.
So, I say to myself and suggest to other writers, hold back a detail here and there - save it for later. Let characters and plots build block by block rather than laying it all out at once.

I love these writing rules from Elmore Leonard:

  1.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  2.  Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
  3.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

#writingtips, #cuewritingmuse

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