The bachelor part of this weekend is over

I have a Sunday routine. I insist on speaking with my parents every Sunday. We live in different states now, so Sunday dinners are out. It usually takes about an hour. Then my wife called to let me know she was heading for home.

I grabbed my iPad and keyboard and set up to write. My daughter showed up and we talked. It never really was an official bachelor weekend, because she canceled her weekend plans. She decided to drive to Cascade for the day. This was my chance. Everyone was out, and my wife wouldn’t get here for about four hours. It was about 11:30 AM.

I managed to raise my word count to 3653. That makes about 2000 for the day. I find my brain telling me to stop after a while and ended it here. I left The Playground mid scene with a meth tweaker taped to a chair and a thug throwing slobbery dog water in his face to bring him around. My thug needed time to find his pliers anyway. Those nice gold crowns aren’t going to extract themselves.

I may get a few more words tomorrow, or I may edit my other story. With family home again, they have some say over Monday too. Tomorrow is my rotating day off, so I have a chance.

I’m pretty happy with what I have down so far. I set the stage for the villain, introduced the victim, and am working on the anti hero. If I’m lucky, I may even get to the hero. I have some cool things in store for her and can’t wait.

It’s all a bit passive, and telling right now. I like it, but the experts probably wouldn’t. I really want to cover a lot of ground and get all the pieces moving. I can do that faster with a bit of telling.

This tale is a challenge, because I’m telling three different stories. The victim doesn’t need a character arch, just increasing danger. The other two have to change and grow during the story.

I need to read it all with fresh eyes in the morning and see if I can reduce the passive portions. Some of it has to stay. I refuse to change things like “it was snowing.” I know I should say “snow fell gently over the freshly plowed streets.” I just can’t bring myself to use eight words where three will do.

I promise to spend the extra words pulling out the tweaker’s teeth.

What would you do? Is it better to spend the words and never tell, or do you want to get to the important stuff?

16 Comments

Filed under Writing

16 responses to “The bachelor part of this weekend is over

  1. I have mixed feelings about that. I love reading about gently falling snow on freshly plowed streets, but when I write it’s usually snowing. I get very descriptive in some places unnecessarily, I think. It takes away from the readers imagination, yet, if I don’t, I don’t feel I am doing the storytelling justice.

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    • Ask three different people, get three different answers. I want to give readers enough to shift their imaginations into drive. I don’t want to fall into backstory and too much detail. I want to get these characters into trouble right away.

      I’m learning that it’s the emotion of the reader that keeps them reading. I get to pick which emotion. I don’t want to dwell over hot cider and carols, which is the wrong emotion. I want worry and fear and doubt.

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  2. I agree with you, over writing is great in some places but a pain to read in others. If some action is about to happen I don’t think you need the descriptive section but if your character is chilling (literally) and looking at a snow fall then throw in some extra words I reckon (o:

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  3. Usually, if I’m in the middle of an action packed scene, it snowed works, but if the scene is rather passive, then I add to it by talking about the fluffy snow. Despite my continued jealousy of your yummy peach problem, I love the details you’ve shared on the new book so far and I’m sure I’ll love the finished product! πŸ™‚

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  4. I don’t know, CHB. Sometimes economy of words is essential in ramping up a scene. Other times, more words are necessary to get the reader to slow down and contemplate a bit, and to crystallize the scene in their minds. But I agree with Delaney above. There are times when I get irritated by too much detail. (I’m sure you’ve read Tolstoy. Ugh. Just get ON with it, for heaven’s sake! Before I snatch my eyeballs out of their sockets from boredom…) (ditto for Dickens. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes crave the Reader’s Digest version of Great Expectations.) Trust your intuition and try not to overthink. If it adds to the story, to our enjoyment, add it. If in doubt? You know the cliche that answers that one.

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  5. It’s a matter of style, isn’t it? I think “It was snowing” would do for me. Unless the scenery is a crucial element, “It was snowing” tells me plenty.
    Hemingway certainly wouldn’t use 8 words for 3, and the experts love him! πŸ™‚

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  6. See, I am the same when it comes to this kind of thing.

    I get that sometimes it’s better to show not tell, but when you’re adding tons of unnecessary words to your book just to say it was snowing or something similar, then that seems kinda silly πŸ˜€

    So yeah, I think ‘It was snowing’ would work great.

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