Writing Short or Writing Long

I believe that it was Pascal who said “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I wrote a long one.”

Counter-intuitive, right? But not as strange a comment as it first appears…

When you’re in the moment, the words just flow onto the paper. Lots of words. And, unless you’re very good at this, not all of those words are going to carry their share of the weight.

And that’s one reason that we have editing. To find errors in spelling or grammar, yes. To fix typos. To polish up a rough draft and choose exactly the right words.

But also to look at those words and see which ones are working and which ones are just taking up space. You can tell a story with a heap of words, but if you extract the lazy ones that aren’t contributing, you end up with a tighter crisper and more powerful tale.

Stephen King said to write what you like in the first draft, but that, as you edit, and average  of one out of three words should be deleted to tighten the story up for maximum effect. I don’t know if I would go quite that high, but I do agree that editing for excess words ad showing them the door gives you a better result.

So, take the time. Write a shorter story.

You’ll be glad that you did

Catherine Kane


For more information on Catherine’s books, “Adventures in Palmistry”, “The Practical Empath – Surviving and Thriving as a Psychic Empath”, “Manifesting Something Better” ,“The Psychic Power of Your Dreams”, her urban fantasy “The Lands That Lie Between”,   and her new book Magick For Pennies, all from Foresight Publications, click here

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