Please Kill Me,
Greetings and Happy Monday my wild writers of the night. How was your weekend? If all has gone as hoped – then you have received “the package” and are currently on a flight to a galaxy far far away.
*plays in street with toy light-saber*
*runs back to keyboard*
In any case, I hope that you are all relatively well and that this post finds you likewise. With that said – let’s get to it-
The Clear, (otherwise known as the catchphrase Donald Trump will use to introduce his Hunger Games-like solution to overpopulation.)
That was a little wordy *slaps wrist* – “Bad Antwan”.
As a matter of fact, it was wordy on purpose (good Antwan?). A major problem that I’ve found that most creatives have, is not knowing when enough is enough. Whether it be the length of a story, an overabundance of detail, the extension of a catalytic scene, (refinancing a old car)- sometimes we simply do not know when we’ve hit the balance of greatness – and thus we tend gallivant over the side, without a second thought.
The (admittedly bad) example that I placed just above – was my round-about way of letting you know what it looks like. Though be warned, it’s often way more difficult to notice when it’s your own work (unless you’re me and do it to intentionally mess with people).
When we suspect that one of our works may be victim to our own self indulgence – we must force ourselves to undergo, endure, and complete – what I have affectionately nicknamed (stole the nickname) – The Clear.
Most of you are probably familiar with the idea of cutting a work down, editing it, (printing it out and sleeping with it under our pillows….we all do that right?), etc. But what I’m talking about goes a bit beyond just simplifying a complex sentence. Not only is it more than that – it’s (in my humble opinion) most effective when it’s the final thing you do.
You’ve all heard the phrase “Shoot your novel” – right? (Just say that you have, so that we can move on). I’m not entirely sure who coined the phrase – but the person from whom I borrowed it can be found here LiveWriteThrive.com ( C.S. Lakin is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to this thing we call writing. She also posts some pretty amazing things herself #IncludingMe – check her out..After me of course).
Imagine your novel as a film. Not just any film – but a great one. (This will require a bit of brutal self-honesty, but if you can swing it you’ll thank yourself). Do you really need the scene focused on the “sweater”… probably not. Will there be a visual of that flock of birds that you’ve over described?…Unlikely. (Am I pretentiously telling you how to do the same job that I’m doing….Absolutely).
Essentially, when you administer The Clear to your work – your putting a story in the context of which it will be digested by the reader. This in turn allows you to differentiate between what matters to the story , and what may just be a smidgen of self-indulgence. Once at these crossroads – you can effectively pick out these scenes, enhance them to better suit the narrative, or – well….clear them.
Just a bit of editing advice from a guy you don’t have to listen too, (although in this case you probably should #PleaseDon’tLeaveMe), or don’t – regardless of what you may take away – only you know how to write the story that you want to tell, and I’ll defend that right over my own ramblings any day.
Alright team, that’s all the news that I’ve got from the Thunder dome today – I’ll see you at some point with some more text in a font.
Go Choke-slam Your Monday,