When I meet a new writer, musician, artist, or any other creative type, the foremost question that intrigues me is: “how do you keep yourself on track?”
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.
What King is saying is not to avoid writing darlings, but rather to remove them from the final product. This is important because I believe that breathing life into those “darlings” is one of the best ways a writer can improve his craft.
I’d like to bring your attention to Komatsu’s last line, which I believe to be the best: “What you can eliminate from fiction is the description of things that most readers have seen.”
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.
The spray of arterial blood showered me in steaming droplets. Like a broken bowl, the head wobbled across the floor until it came to rest at my feet.