There are various and sundry complaints about the “prequel” trilogy (PT, or POS to some) in comparison the the “original” trilogy (OT), but one misstep has always stood out to me (I know you’re thinking “Jar Jar!” but that’s not it… just hear me out). The Force is treated very differently from trilogy to trilogy.
When you find yourself truculently bedighting your scrivenery with inimical prose, serried and thick as chaparral; I, for one, recommend elision instead. Otherwise, your writing may appear solecistic, and you, as a writer, solipsismal.
When someone asks for “description,” do you answer with “leave nothing to the imagination?”
Well, as you may know, this isn’t too classy, and although some folks may enjoy that, most probably don’t.
I’d like to borrow a tired chiché from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?
In a society that so values monetary success, understand that the immediate lack thereof is not a sign of failure, nor is it a symptom of bad writing or flawed ideas, though that’s an easy go-to excuse.
According to me, there are at least 100,000 known writing strategies. Maybe even more (and that’s why we shouldn’t destroy the rain forest). Working at a college writing center has really opened up my eyes to all sorts of writing processes that professors recommend, and even though most of them have nonfiction, academic papers in mind, I think that we creative folks can glean something from their recommendations. The particular process I have in mind is called the Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge, brought to you by Betty S. Flowers, and…
Have you ever read a book with long passages of description? At first, you may engage, similar to how I used to vow to use my planner at the beginning of every semester. And then interest falters. Some descriptive paragraphs feel like a mud slog. I admit that even I start to skim over fat paragraphs, purely for self-preservation, after a while, and I LOVE description…
In order to avoid betraying my utter ignorance, I’ll speak in vague generalities: if you’re walking or running efficiently, your body works a bit like a pendulum, swinging (not forcing) itself forward. I feel that I could run or walk for hours and never get tired when I’m running or walking in that ‘groove’. One long hill later and I have a different idea, but let’s not focus on that right now.
As for the writing process, understanding this spectrum and pinpointing where your characters fall is a great tool that you can use to explore the nature of your work or your character more deeply.
If your writing doesn’t make you squirm in the best of ways, then you’re doing something wrong.