February 9, 2004

Compressing and other things

While writing my short story for Intro to Lit, I found that my wordiness is not the only crutch; the complex plot, the characters, and overall tone, I want to convey is enough to fill 25 pages. Three or four pages is going to be tough.

Commenting on Tiffany's blog has made me mindful of my own writing style. How paranoid I have become!!

With such a short piece, I find myself hacking away at the descriptions I love. And I must say, this is great for journalistic lead writing. Just get the story out there, I suppose, and embellish only if necessary in directing the plot forward.

The show v. tell monster once more rearing its ugly head, though I do think I have gotten better. I try to read my story aloud to catch any typos or messy language, telling language, such as "she felt cold." I now write: "shivering with fierceness, she turned to the heater and felt its rays of light sear her skin with warmth."

My sentences are always long. When I was an intern at my local paper, I wrote articles with semi-colons. IN ARTICLES!! A great big no-no. Though I have developed journalistically since then, I do tend to write in lengthy sentences for other writings. I have been attempting to write in simple sentences more often, and punctuate without so much drama or passion. Imagine that: passionate punctuation.

With my story concocted, I find the greatest challenge in revising. When I go back, taking out the unnecessary words. Both Strunk & White and this short story group mention this as an essential. I have deleted some of my favorite sections in the name of this rule, but there is some consolation in knowing that you can use them in future pieces.

Though writing an original piece of fiction is a challenge, because I take from many influences, I think this story documents my changing writing style; I am not so inhibited by who is reading it; I focus on what message/theme I am portraying.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at February 9, 2004 6:07 PM
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