My children think the term “tighty whities” is about the funniest thing in the world next to Captain Underpants, so I hope some young-at-heart person out there enjoys my odd post title today!
Ray Rhamey at Flogging the Quill recently demonstrated how an overplump piece of prose should be trimmed of its fat, leaving a clean-and-lean scene in its place. There’s little doubt after reading the original that Ray’s editing worked wonders, but can a writer learn to write tight in the first place?
Here’s my analysis of Ray’s great approach:
* Nix the backstory. Introduce history as it’s needed and not a moment before. Backstory is not only a spacehog, it can also be boring. Besides, a LACK of information can often provide a HOOK. Readers want to know why people are acting as they are, why things are unfolding as they are, and they’ll keep reading to get to that info. Don’t hand readers the key to your story too soon. [Read more…]