Monday, February 13, 2012

Resist the urge

Today I want to discuss something that I've seen in some unpublished/self-published writing recently.

Resist the urge to overwrite.

Writing is a delicate balance. If your writing is too plain, with nothing descriptive, original or intriguing, readers may dump it for being boring (depending, some readers are willing to forgive plain writing if the plot is good.) Overwriting, however, it just as bad if not worse.

I think we've all been there. When we read something that uses flowery description and you wonder if the author looked up something in the thesaurus and went with the most exotic synonym he or she could find. That overwriting is easy to find.

But overwriting also applies to simpler things. Phrases that are written that are unneeded. For instance – if something is implied, but a writer writes it anyway. Readers can read between the lines. You don't have to spell everything out of them.

So, that's the bit of wisdom I have for you today. Is this something you guys struggle with? I know that I myself am guilty of it.