The Race

My writing style has changed a lot since the first book I wrote over 20 years ago. Back then, it was bloated. I’m not exaggerating when I say that first book was over 400,000 words. Not publishable, but man oh man was I descriptive!

Times change, and I’ve seen my writing evolve from a meandering sprawl into a “race”. I run from dialogue to fight scenes to love scenes. Not really taking the top to let the reader or the character catch their breath, to immerse them in the world, to let them walk beside the character as the story unfolds. These things are important, but I glossed over them to “get to the point.”

This is workable. I have found it easier to map out the sensory aspects of a scene after the fact, and then try to slip some of those details in to better help the reader be there with the characters. Yes, it’s another round of editing, but I find it easier to add than to delete. When I first finished this work, it was 50k words before editing. After my edits to date, its 76k. Not the direction I hear about from so many other writers, but the story was pretty much bones and needed fleshing out. Now, I need to add more. Give it some details. Maybe some clothes. Or maybe I’ve just taken this analogy too far.

By the time I’m done, I hope to be closer to the 90k standard for this genre.

I found it interesting that I have changed so much over the years. Perhaps it has to do with my day job where I am deadline driven and analytical. Why would I tell you that our product smells like burnt hydraulic oil when I present my analysis on how we performed this quarter? I wouldn’t, because you don’t care. Perhaps it has to do with working full time and being a parent. Efficiency is prized. Or maybe it’s just a natural change.

I’m not sure I’m going to change myself in the short term. Or my writing style. But now that I know this about myself, I can work with it.

If my first draft of my current work is only 50,000 words, that’s okay. A dozen or so revisions later, and maybe I will get to that mystical 90,000.

Easier to build up from the skeleton than to have nothing at all to work with.

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