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Being Concise

I have a hard time being concise. *Whew* There I said it.

It took me a long time to realize why my answers and explanations were always longer and more "detailed" in my online classes, on blogs, in chat, and even on my hobby forums. I boggled over the fact that someone could answer something so well in half or three-fourths as many words as I could.

I realized this some time ago and I do put a *little* more thought into my writing but I haven't really addressed the issue. I think I've been afraid of the inevitable conclusion. If my general writing isn't very concise it would be safe to assume my novel writing isn't concise either.

This is a problem. Problem realized. Now what?

Well, I found this website for starters, which reminded me that I have an "Elements of Style" book from college lying around somewhere. So I'm going to digest this website, try their quiz, and see what I can learn from the style book I have somewhere around here. Then comes the most important step: Implementing this relearned knowledge into my writing.

Sometimes it's best to go back to the basics.

Note: I do realize that artistic writing doesn't need to be as concise as say business correspondence or journalism, so I am going to focus mainly on the concisities (I just made that up) that I know will benefit my novel writing.

I hope everyone is getting ready for Wednesday's Words. It's sneaking up on us again!


PJ Hoover said...

It's funny you talk about being concise and your blog name is Literary Rambles. :)

It all comes down to target audience. Be as concise as the audience requires.
Easy to say, right?

Casey Something said...

Haha. That's exactly why I titled my blog what I did. I wasn't entirely sure what I would be talking about (other than my writing) and I know I have a tendency to ramble... so it just fit!

Everything seems to require a measure of balance in this world, and it's terribly hard to know when you've truly found that balance. We have to deal with a lot of balancing acts in writing especially.

Heather Hansen said...

PJ makes a good point about the Rambles... hahaha! Love it.

Concise is good. Although you wouldn't be able to tell from the size of this comment!

What I think is better is that you're looking at your writing critically. I don't think most people do. I think it separates those who make it from those who languish in the pits of non-published hell.

Can you tell where I'm languishing at the moment? ;)

I have no idea what I'm going to post on (my) Thursday for the check in. I think I have less done this week and I DID more. hahaha. What a mess!

Sheri Perl-Oshins said...

That is funny PJ! Good catch there!

And Heather with her “pits of non-published hell” UGH! That hurt.

But she's right. The fact that you are criticizing your own work and wanting to learn more and do better puts you cuts above the rest of us in the pits of non-published hell....

Concise was something always written on my HS English papers. “…isn’t concise enough…” Creative writing feels so different. I don’t really worry about that too much these days. I worry more about this Passive Voice thing that keeps creeping up everywhere I look. I find I am reading a lot about that lately.

So as long as we are reading and thinking, we are learning, and we are growing.