The last few days have been all about trimming the excess. Haven’t settled on whether to use a sculpting or a steak metaphor yet–I’ll keep you posted.
For your (and my) editing pleasure, here’s an excellent article by Rayne Hall on removing “could” from your novel’s word diet to make your writing sharper and cleaner. And it’s not just “could” Hall takes to court, but also words like “feel” and “hear”–verbs that put unnecessary distance between the author and the character.
A great piece of advice. Lately, I have been repeating this mantra:
Keep it simple. Somewhere in the beginning of an author’s education, we mysteriously acquire the notion that more is better. That flowery descriptions are an essential to the writer’s armory. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism–putting lots of words down somehow makes up for those words not being as good as they could be.
I’m guilty of overcomplicating my writing every day of the week, so I set a goal for myself on this revision: keep it simple. Trim fat between dialogue; let the conversation bounce from speaker to speaker naturally; shave down or cut descriptions completely; avoid tangents during important conversations; and, of course, make the prose pleasant but easy to read.
Wordy is not the name of the game–but meaning is.