When it comes to titles, I am all or none.
Show. Don’t tell. Every person who has ever put pen to paper has heard this line. Don’t tell us we are in Paris, give us the acrid scent of the Seine mixing with buttery croissants, give us the crunch of rough, dusty cobblestoned streets beneath our feet, give us the taste of acrylics on the air from freshly painted street art.
For overwriters, word count goals can be very good and they can be very bad.
These characters are the lens through which a tale is told, and who they are–and how well the author knows them– directly influences that story. You’d be hard pressed to find a writer who didn’t understand the importance of heroes and heroines. The same can’t always be said of the villains, however.
For anyone who has read the six-word story by Hemingway, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” you’ll know an awful lot can be said with an awful little.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job. And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
I used to think I could research my books as I went. I used to delve into plot and character development and setting and think I’ll get to that later. I used to believe that research was secondary, tertiary even, to the fundamentals of writing a story. I used to be very, very wrong.