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Aaaand there goes my search rating. You guys are going to get some weird ads now.

Like you weren’t already.

I’m reading through some fiction I wrote years ago. I was very attached to it at the time. Still am, in fact. But six years and two (smallish) dissertations give a writer a slightly different perspective on matters. I’ve been afraid to read it, leery of the sheer amount of work that will undoubtedly be required to turn it into anything. And leery to see what past me thought would be a good writing style. So far it’s gone like this:

BRID Hey, this doesn’t suck!

BRID Okay, I’ll just skim over this part.

BRID This is actually rather enjoyable.

BRID Aaaand exposition. And more exposition. Damn, girl.

BRID Doesn’t suck again!

As this is how I feel about my research on a daily basis, I have to assume this is normal.

o O o

The first most important tip you get as a writer is: Write. This is important, but in the furor of planning the perfect novel, it’s surprising how often it’s overlooked.

The second is, once you’ve written, remove every word that doesn’t help the story along in some way. Chances are, a good quarter of the words just slipped in there on their own while you were trying to say something entirely unrelated.

Which brings us to three: Kill your babies. As L. M. Montgomery put it, “All the passages you think especially fine, you must cut out.” This is very hard.

At least, it’s hard until you’re sitting in bed six years later, and you find yourself (although there’s no one else in the house) smothering a smile with one hand the way you do when a student makes a mistake and you don’t want them to feel bad. Yep, my upper lip gets awfully itchy during the tourist ceilidhs. Terribly itchy.

But I digress. You say you want an example?

“Pardon me…” Genevieve’s voice rang musically through the cave, followed by a delicate foot in a swirl of silk and pain.

Great chapter opener, right? I still think it looks terribly elegant.

If only I didn’t snort with laughter every time I read it. It’s too elegant. Like a small child wearing a tutu to go grocery shopping. Endearing in the young, but rather out of place on a fully-grown novel. I’m not going for full-on satire, so I’ll keep the snort for things I really mean to be funny.

Another darling down. But at least this one gets a memorial. I think I’ll just collect hilarious lines from my fiction and give them a decent burial on the blog. Why should I be the only one who gets to laugh at them?

Hanging out in my hammock, before Scotland settled on a uniform high of 59F (15C) for the season.

Hanging out in my hammock, before Scotland settled on a uniform high of 59F (15C) for the season.

 

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