Can’t stop. Can’t stop! CAN’T STOP!
You might say I fall into this category. Maybe. Kinda. Yes. My first book is 484 pages. That’s after it was edited and picked apart. Can you imagine how long it was before that?! I have admitted that I love words. Maybe too much. Wait, that’s not possible. Anyway, it is possible to write too many words. There are ways to thin out your work and still tell the complete story. At least that is what I was told.
It feels like you are bursting with words and ideas, and you just have to put them all down in order, for as long as it takes, argh! It’s almost like a toxic spill. It can be cleaned up and you can learn to control it. I found I would overwrite if I had ample time. Time is great to have but sometimes you need to control your sitting time. So, what I did was set a timer for two hours. When the buzzer went off, you guessed it…
I would go fill that empty cuppa and grab some serious nibbles. I’m sure a bathroom break occurred as well. You know how it is when you are of a certain age and have a touch of kidney disease. FUN! Maybe you don’t know. I only hate you a little. Meh.
Even if you set timers and control your word harnessing, the reality is, you still have too many letters trapped. This is when you start looking for someone who can see the story through the clutter. We call those people EDITORS. Say it with me boys, girls, and all my other happy pronouns, ed-i-tors. Very good. The more ruthless the better. I have one who, I swear, spills her own blood on the page to show me how dissatisfied she is. You need someone who can help with cutting unnecessary words and story bits. Your readers don’t want to read a rambling book with no focus. I know I don’t.
Got it? Cool. Moving on.
In Love with Your Work
Per a quick Google search, I found this gem:
“Kill your darlings” is a common piece of advice given by experienced writers. You kill your darlings when you decide to get rid of an unnecessary storyline, character, or sentences in a piece of creative writing—elements you may have worked hard to create but that must be removed for the sake of your overall story.
“Ticia, what are you trying to tell us? Teach us, Oh Great One.”
What? You wouldn’t actually say that? Well, that’s what I heard, so let’s run with it. ‘k? Cool. What this gem is trying to teach us is to stop. Stop trying to perfect a character. Quit writing every single, solitary detail, stop over sharing. I get it. You love your characters. I love mine too. I love them sooo much I want my reader to cry or freak out when I kill them. Your story has to end at some point and one way to do that is to take a, or many, character(s) out of the story line.
Once again, get an editor. Find someone who can take your massive ramblings, and help you focus the details into a powerful story instead of a mumbling mess. Believe me, I know what it’s like to build a character from the ground up and wanting the world to see the magnificence of said character. I make some BOSS characters, but you do not need to know they skinned their knee while skateboarding in a parking lot when they were eleven. I may need to know this as I move forward, but typically the reader does not. Yes, dear reader, we have a full file on who our characters are from birth to the page. It’s more for us than you but sometimes it leaks onto the screen. Sorry, not sorry.
Get some assistance with the wrangling. Trust those you reach out to. They aren’t trying to lessen your story; they are trying to help organize your thoughts in a way a reader can follow. You don’t have to use every suggestion but try to see the story from their point of view. Find that critique group I have talked about before (or create your own).
I will attach the rules I created for my group, so you have an idea of how it all works.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent