More words count less
Hold fast to the center. Lao Tse
Lao Tse’s words have echoed in my mind for years. As a writer I learned that wordiness hides the story. As a reader I learned that wordiness hides the story. That said, there
are a lot of people who’ve reviewed my books there are many reviewers who say my prose is not “descriptive” enough. Others say it’s, “lyrical” and “fast moving.”
One man’s note is another man’s symphony. (Ralph, Muppets)
HOW a person writes a story depends on what the story is. Since I write historical fiction, there’s a fine line between what my readers need to know about the world they enter when they open my book and what the people in the story already know about their world. Memoir, too, though I have found that a little easier to navigate.
I’ve read a memoir for the contest that should have been very interesting, but in the second chapter, suddenly, the author seems to have forgotten that the story is the big deal and begins laborious introductions of family members and their life stories. I was disappointed because I wanted the book to do well. I was talking to the author, “No, please, don’t do this.” But the author HAD done that and would lose any reader there, I think. Even in a memoir, characters are interesting because of what they DO.
I’m not writing anything now and am even pondering what to do with my blog. I enjoyed the couple of days I decided to write short poems in response to the prompt though I was disappointed yesterday when readers didn’t realize I wasn’t writing about The Godfather per se, but about Donald Trump. Or they didn’t and didn’t want to talk about it. That’s OK. I remember spending HOURS in seminars trying to figure out what this or that poet actually meant. Still, perhaps I reached a high level of obscurity in my life’s second ever cinquain and I’m proud to have achieved so much with so little effort.