Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do You Write Too Much?

Simple question. No need for a complex answer. In all honesty, the proof is in your writing.

The question again: Do you write too much?

Gotta admit the truth is most new writers do. It's why I have so embraced flash fiction. I needed to write tight. I wrote a previous post on writing flash fiction, and an Esquire contest to write a complete story in 78 words. 

Check it out here.

Now back to writing too much. This from Garry Disher's "Writing Fiction: An Introduction To The Craft":

New - and experienced - writers often write too much owing to a lack of focus (Sara Paretsky threw out three hundred pages of her novel, Tunnel Vision, saying: 'I was kind of meandering and it just didn't have a shape') or burden themselves with complex, complicated or competing ideas. It may be necessary to simplify the theme and coolly cut inessential ideas, characters, incidents and sub-plots.

So, the question bears repeating: Do you write too much?

If you don't think you need to worry about writing too much, then try an exercise: On a page, list the numbers 1-100 as if you were going to take a test and answer 100 questions. Like this:
And so on...
Now, next to each number write one word all the way to 100. And in this way, write a 100-word story: beginning, middle and end.
Give it a try. Share your story in the comments section below.

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