Search:
 
 

Posts tagged with: edit for pace

How to Get “Tight” (Ruby Reprise)

“Needs tightening.” My least favorite comment.

I hate tightening.  Hate it at the gym.  Hate it with my household budget.  Really, really hate it with my writing.

I love the luxuriance of books, the lavishness of language.  Back in first grade, I always needed extra sheets of story-paper for Writing Time, and never got around to drawing the stupid picture.  My very first completed romance-novel chapter?  Thirty-five pages long.  Yup, thirty-five.  Even Charles Dickens would cringe.

Years ago, I submitted that chapter to the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest (I blush to remember), and a very patient judge responded:  “This is great stuff, but pick up the pace!  Readers won’t be willing to work this hard.”

Ouch.

The good news:  I heeded that advice.  Trimmed those 35 pages to 13.  Kept up that pace for a 369-page novel, which finaled in the 2009 Golden Heart. And I never forgot the lesson.

Here are a few tips on saying more with fewer words:

The Latest Comments

  • Laurie Kellogg: What a wonderful post, Beth. I hope your book helps to educate the public on the challenges of Autism.
  • Kate Parker: Lovely post, Beth. And yes, romance writers are very supportive, even of mystery writers!
  • Elizabeth Langston: So many people could be thanked, but it’s nice to get an opportunity to give a special word...
  • Julia Day: Yes, and you’ve been great and supportive, too. I can thank you enough!
  • Bev Pettersen: This is a lovely post, Beth. From the very beginning, I was astonished and grateful at how generous...

Archives