Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Clearing out the clutter, in more ways than one

I have a mammogram this morning, then the rest of the day I mean to devote to weeding through the piles of research notes and scraps and odds and bits that have accumulated over the past four+ years of writing Kindred. Need to be sure I haven't overlooked something vital, some little note to myself to make some change or add some layer to someone's motivation. Oh boy.
But I'm itching to start editing again. I have ideas on how to yank out significant wordage in the first half of the book, in order to step up the pace. I'm also going to try really paring down the description. Although... I think this can be taken too far.

I recently read a book that had so little sense of place I felt like I was watching a play with the barest suggestion of stage dressing. The writing was good. The dialogue was good. But it was rare on any given page that I had a solid sense of where these scenes were taking place. The characters were interesting, their conflict hooked me, but a descriptive sentence or two more per page might have made the scenes come so much more alive.

Sometimes as a reader I want to settle in and experience the world of the characters in a deep and rich way, not skim along like a water bug, barely denting the surface.

I have to strive for the right balance with Kindred. It's overwritten now. But I don't want it to end up so spare that if it turned sideways, you couldn't see it.

My scattered thoughts for the day, tra la la.

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