Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Are you a Long writer or a Short writer?
This is a major problem I have with every piece. Not necessarily a problem with the piece, per se, but a problem with my attitude towards it and stress about it.
I should say off the bat that this is not a good vs bad issue (despite the Glinda picture...sorry, couldn't help myself). Its not an issue of being a "good witch" or a "bad witch." We all just write differently, and each end of the spectrum comes with different issues.
Many of my writer friends are self-professed "long" writers. They fill scenes easily, find interesting new characters to work with along the way, and (I think?) don't typically feel at a loss for words. Their main trouble comes with editing, when they have too much and have to decide what to cut. It's like asking which finger they want cut off.
Then there are those of us on the "short" end of the spectrum. (No jokes, here, okay? 5'4 [almost] is a perfectly acceptable height for a lady). I am most definitely on this end of the spectrum, about as far as you can go. It used to give me doubts about whether or not I was a "real" or "legitimate" writer, because how could someone who wants to write for a living, and loves doing it, have such a hard time finding enough words? I've had lots of time to think about this, and how me being this type of writer is definitely okay and to be expected given other areas of my personality. I ADORE the editing process, and going through an already drafted piece and fixing it up is so much easier and so much more fun than the drafting itself. But in the first draft, I am always worried I won't have enough.
This is something I've talked about before, and its worth talking about again. I'm trying to learn how to not stress about word count at the beginning, and remember that editing is for adding too and I can make it work. I try to remind myself to slow down in the drafting process and feel all the grooves and twists along the path and so I don't end up skipping ahead, going too fast, getting everything in.
So anyway, those of you long writers have any advice or tips for us shorties? I realize that its an innate and ingrained part of our personalities and process that determines which side of the spectrum we're on, and that we can't necessarily explain it. But what are you talking about with all those words? What do you use to take up that needed space?