First drafts (in my experience) are serious word vomit sessions where I seem to just pour it on and on because I’m still telling myself the story. That’s what first drafts are: the writer telling the story to themselves first. Each subsequent draft of the story should be less of this. Those drafts need to be approached with the attitude of, “Now I know what the story is so I need to whittle it down for others.” When I use the word “whittle”, I do not mean to dumb it down. Far from it, since I believe when revising, the story should be sharpened. Each sentence should be put to the whetstone until there’s a fine edge. No burrs or dullness.
For myself, I am revising my book to the point where I am making sure redundancy and over-description are being removed. I am looking weak verbs like: are, was, is, etc. Why say someone is running when saying they ran or rushed is stronger? I am looking for word flow. As I mentioned in my previous post about word count, I can honestly say my book is not lacking in the word count department, but to cut away the fat is necessary.
C.S. Lewis said, “Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, ‘Please will you do the job for me.’” This and other quotes about writing and being a functional wordsmith continue to linger in my mind. Writers should strive to evoke and stir the emotions of the readers, remembering to show them what is happening in the story.
Call to Action: Newsletter plug time! If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, definitely do so. Not only will it have exclusive info about myself since the last newsletter and some book reviews, but you will also get the Shoals to the Hallowed short story that will close some gaps and provide context to the flash fiction series.