Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day Seven- All is not tighty whitey

While I think my dialogue, as prevalent as it is in my stuff, is one of my strengths, sometimes I go on... well tangents.

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.


  1. Wendy! Hello!! Hi! I think I'm back!!! Look at all the exclamation points!! Wow yay!!!

    You write great dialogue, and you write great period. Cheers and applause!

    Thanks for not saying "smart ass". I was really relieved when I saw the word "aleck", and how you avoided the word ass, but no surprise because you are awesome that way. Writing out ass is as bad as saying ass, don't you think? I never use or write out the word ass, even demonstratively. Besides, if the word ass were on your blog then everyone would have to read ass and then they would think the word ass as they read it (since while people read your words, you briefly control their thoughts. Freaky but true). And ALSO, someone who doesn't understand idiomatic expressions might wonder if the ass in smart ass refers to anatomy or a farm animal. In any case, people who do use ass (meaning, say or write out ass, not really USE ass) are such donkeys.

    I have to go acquire some chili cheese fries and probably tend to the kids. Happy Saturday :)

  2. It's nice that I've found someone on the same level of emotional maturity as me, Diana. LOL.

    (P.S. I used plethora in the previous post's comment thread--just for you.)

  3. I knew you would understand!

    Now I've GOT to see how you used plethora. (I feel like giving you a virtual high-five.)

  4. You've managed to shock, Tina, though, Diana. Actually, I have no idea if it was you or just my stunningly intellectual post above. Her "wow" is fairly vague.

    Rereading yesterday's post--I'm claiming my rambling nonsense had something to do with today's cold. Also--to illustrate the point that my writing style is not tight.

  5. My writing is also all over the place. I don't know what to make of myself sometimes.

    I have shocked Tina. I don't know what to do about it, I promise I'm not very shocking in real life. She won't believe me now, of course.

  6. I don't want to even worry about cleaning this up until December and even then I ache! I have some major plot problems too. Those Easter Eggs are sometimes pretty funny and sometimes pretty shameful. Happy Writing!