I know. You're shocked. Possibly horrified.
No one likes a smart aleck, by the way. (So tempted to say "smart ass" but, as you know, my mom reads this, so I refrained.)
So, as I'm reading industry blogs and blogs of agented and published authors, they're all quick to champion "tight" writing. I read an author interview with a guy that bragged that his seven hundred page epic fantasy was "tightly-written" and all excess had been removed. First of all, yikes and really? Second of all, is the goal to have svelte, no-tangent, cut and dried fiction such a wonderful thing?
Some of the stories and dialogue and side plots in my manuscripts have no bearing on the plot whatsoever. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm not the super model novel writer. They're not unrealistically free from "fatty goodness." Some help with character building--so they might slide by. Some--just are the random tangents that make it realistic, in my opinion. (Thank goodness for betas who can cut with reckless abandon because I can't tell which of my tangents takes us so far off the road that we can't find the map again.) I will say that tangents that are later cut, get filed in my mind as back-story, so I'm okay with cutting them, and it becomes this private little secret between me and my characters--and my betas.
(See this is why you want to beta with me. We have secret handshakes, virtual cookies, and all these dirty little secrets. Plus, you get the chance to find my typo Easter Eggs that can be so comically horrendous that you get crowned with official typo finder for the book. David won for the first Honor--repel--nay--rappelle, Mon Ami. Jaime won for one of the books--I bet she remembers which one. Heidi has won a time or two. I won for discovering that I'd managed to "diss" Mars in a mnemonic device. Oh... the irony.)
Yes, the above was a random tangent. Please refer to the comment above regarding people that point out the obvious.
So, I don't think my writing is "tight" as far as plot and dialogue goes. I try to cut out the excess on attributions, adjectives, and adverbs. (Not alliteration, because who doesn't like a little alliteration.) I'm trying to tighten it up in those areas. As far as the story goes--I'm the boxer shorts of the fiction world.
It's nearly ten a.m. and you know what they say about ten a.m.
Have a good Saturday, everyone--for whom it's Saturday.