Words for Words Sake
As many of you already know, my writing career started writing for newspaper. Fresh out of high school I was offered a cadetship with the local paper and I jumped at the chance. However a chronic health condition (which I still suffer from) stopped me from pursuing journalism as a career.
The reason I mention this is writing for newspaper and writing fiction are two distinctly different styles.
Back when I was working on the newspaper my Editor was a complete Nazi (in a good way). He drilled into me the prinicples of reporting and to stick to the facts, quote verbatim, do not editorialise. It was my job to report the story accurately and objectively, not to add colour, embellish or spout my opinion. Writing fiction on the other hand, is all about painting a story; making it come alive in the readers mind.
A few days ago while surfing the net, I’d like to say I was researching but the truth is I was procrastinating, I came across a review of both Vampires Revealed and Desires Revealed by the same reviewer. Their single complaint about both books was they were too short.
This is not the first time I’ve seen a reader complain they wish one or both of my books were longer. But I can assure you, it has forced me to take a good hard look at myself and my writing. I think it’s fair to say that to a certain extent I am still struggling to move past the rules of writing for newspaper and to embrace the style of writing fiction.
While I am now acutely aware of my habit of being overly succint, I will not write more simply for the sake of reaching some arbitrary word count. I will always be aiming to write enjoyable stories and I will try to be mindful of adding more information where it is needed. But I will not write Words for Words Sake!