This article was originally published on Bookmarketingtools.com
No really, chocolate is good for you. Dark chocolate can even help you lose weight!
But as with all good things, for the above to be true, chocolate should be eaten in small quantities. That means those small quantities had better be good.
The same can be said about writing.
A lot of excess words can help bulk out word count and make you feel good about your output. But it can also make your manuscript overweight, unwieldy and a hard slog for readers to get through.
“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”-Stephen King, On Writing
Scenes, paragraphs, and sentences should be pared down and always be working to move the story forward in a flowing, logical manner. A good way for testing this with a piece of writing is to read it aloud. If it flows well while speaking it, then it should flow well while reading it.
I am not going to say that I am the perfect writer that does everything correctly, and never use too many words to get my point across. In fact I am the opposite (as can be seen from this post). I love words and like to use as many of them as possible wherever I can. But as with eating too much chocolate, I know that in the long run too many words will be a bad thing for the story (and this article).
“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”-Stephen King, On Writing
Now, I am not going to tell you how to write like this, just as I am not going to tell you what chocolate to eat. That is up to each individual to decide. Everyone has their particular brand of chocolate, and everyone has their own particular writing style.
Ultimately it is up to you to decide what stays, what goes, and what chocolate to eat.
Happy chocolate munching!