Tag Archives: creative writing

Necessary Excess

Stephen King recommended that after writing the first draft of your story, you should then cut out at least 10% during the initial editing process. This is to deal with the word bloat issues that most writers have. Usually, folks have a tendency to write way more than is necessary; too much dialog, too much description, just too many words.

Luckily for me, I don’t have this problem. No matter what my problems are as a writer, you’ll never hear someone say my stories are too long. Instead, everything I write reads like its been stricken with anemia. If I describe a character to you, you’ll know his or her gender and that’s about it. Want to know if he’s tall or ugly or robust or misshapen and horrible? Too bad! Use your imagination and fill in the blanks yourself, I’m busy moving onto the next thing.

Interested in the backstory behind that shadowy mysterious figure? Suck it. Backstory is for pansies. We’ve got frontstory to deal with and I don’t have time for explaining the whys and hows of things. The story needs to get told and it needs to get told in under 3,000 words. Anything else and I’m asleep.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares my beliefs with regard to how a story should be told (as quickly as humanly possible). I need to learn how to embellish and elaborate on my tales of horror and do so without just vomiting up superlative, excessive, redundant and purple prose.

This is long enough.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Writing: Novels, Stories, Blogs and Comics

Pick It Apart

I have a bit of difficulty watching a movie or reading a book. If it’s horror or thriller or anything to do with monsters, I constantly take myself out of the experience by critiquing it the entire time. I can’t help but ask myself how I would have written it or how I would have described a character or if I would have gone that route with the monster. Or I just get grumpy that I didn’t come up with the idea.

It makes it a little hard to get invested in a fictional world when I spend the entire time nitpicking the thing from start to end. “Well I don’t know if that’s a realistic way to depict people running in fear.” “Why would the ghost kill people that way? That’s entirely contrary to the nature of ghosts!” “This helldog is entirely too verbose.” I can’t turn off the critic, the writer, the little guy in my brain that wants to do this for a living.

If I want escapism, I usually go for movies or books that aren’t in my genres. That way, I spend less time thinking of how I would’ve done it and just enjoy the ride. Horror is for educational purposes only. It’s how I learn and develop what I do and how I become a better writer. And that is my excuse for why I watch so many terrible horror movies.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think