Sunday, May 27, 2012

Writing Skillz

I finished my latest shiny new idea this past weekend. The work count was just over 48K. As I was writing, I was cranking out the words. At least 2K a day, and many of those days up to 4K. I was on fire and the word count was soaring. Would I get this WIP over 50K?

Honestly, it's been a while since I've written a story that's over 50K. The first draft of Being Human topped at 150K and I cut it in half with the help of beta readers. It wasn't my first story I wrote, but it was the first one I shined and polished. I knew I'd need helping editing it while writing it too. There was no denial there. Since then, I have learned a lot about writing. I know about fluff words, adjectives, passive voice vs active voice. Being Human had all that, and those elements were slowly chipped away.

Now when I write, I'm more aware of my favorite fluff words, just and so. I know not every action needs an adjective. Softly whisper anyone? I will still search out fluff words in my current writing. There are not as many anymore. I'm more aware. I even notice in my blog posts. When I'm proofing and trying to minimize typos (they always slip though!) I notice a fluff word here and there.

I wonder if that's part of why my recent first drafts don't end up as monster 100K+ stories. I know how to tell a story in less words. My writing is tighter. A friend on twitter said maybe my muse was holding back my next monster story. Is it lurking in the back of my mind and waiting to ambush me? Maybe I'm more of a short story writer. Not that 40K+ qualifies as short stories. Just some of my stories are riding the boarder between short story and novel.

Anyone else notice this trend in their writing? Their word count has gone down as their writing ability improved and bad writing habits are broken?

14 comments:

  1. I don't think I can imagine writing under 100k words.. and my idea of a monster word count is 300k+ *grin* I guess it depends on what books you read!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I tend to write shorter too, but also I notice I'm much more impatient when I read a book with padding or excessive word use.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Nicole, guess you're just more long winded than I am. ;)

    @Mood, I like short stories too because I read in one sitting and short stories allow me to read a whole story and not lose my whole day. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, can't agree with being longwinded ;p Perhaps it's a genre thing? My current novels are epic fantasy and they tend to be set over long periods, though I'll never reach the Game of Thrones length! And any story that can be read and enjoyed in a day is a good story :)

      Delete
    2. Well, epic fantasy does imply a big ass book. ;)

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    3. *lol* fatass books - gonna have that mental image for epic now ;p

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  4. I often delete a sentence I'd begun and start again, writing it the right way. But no, my word count remains at about 95,000 words per novel. I'm dying to get back to my latest story, but editing earlier ones occupies my attention as well as an occasional visit on the road trip. See you next time.

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  5. I find myself going upwards of 100k a novel. Editing tends to smooth out rough spots. I'm doing that and noticing quite a few instances of "now" in the text. Got to get rid of those...

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  6. As a whole, my writings have always been short. True, they expand, what I think will be 3K evolves into 10K, but I rarely pass 20-25K.

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  7. I think that I would find writing a 100K novel beyond me. I can easily write 50-60K without too much trouble. Just finding the time to write is my main issue. When editing, I usually add words and sentences rather that delete, probably just my writing style, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gotta lotta writing skills 4U, dear...

    Q: Can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Seventh-Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HawrHawr Neeeed summore thots, ideers, raw wurdz or ironclad iconoclasms? Yay! Voila!

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly-girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go git'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    thesuperseedoftime.blogspot.com
    infowars.com
    -YOUTHwitheTRUTH
    -------------------------------
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9...

    God blessa youse
    (trust-in-Jesus)
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gotta lotta writing skills 4U, dear...

    Q: Can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Seventh-Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HawrHawr Neeeed summore thots, ideers, raw wurdz or ironclad iconoclasms? Yay! Voila!

    VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As an ex-writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to [the] wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly-girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go git'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    thesuperseedoftime.blogspot.com
    infowars.com
    -YOUTHwitheTRUTH
    -------------------------------
    PS Need summore unique, uncivilized, useless names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Martini, Ivy Squire, Sauer Wolfe, Yankee Cooky, -blessed b9...

    God blessa youse
    (trust-in-Jesus)
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

    ReplyDelete
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