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Friday, May 7, 2010

Word count in a novel: Can't find the words?

Brevity was never my strength, not when it came to writing. I remember formulating stories when I was a child and telling them in the tent to my siblings. I drew on historical events and anything else I found fascinating in books I'd read or that our mother had read to us. The tales I made up grew as I told them, idea built upon idea and I felt the need to share those ideas, follow them through to their logical or illogical conclusions!

Have you ever noticed how lengthy most old books are? By old I'm speaking of volumes from early 1900's and, of course, the 1800's. I have a number of old books and I, unlike some people, read them. They are wordy, detailed and often delivered powerfully. They were written with great care, often taking years to complete. I say all this to try and make the point that those writers were used to spending the time to compile their stories and placed as much information as they desired in their novels.
On my recent post one commenter stated they are having difficulty writing longer pieces. I often say that it takes a lot of material to make a novel. And it does. When I write I sit down and meditate on the story, the characters, and the setting. As each bit of that story formulates in my mind I write it down and I slow my thinking process in order to put down all the details that create the scene I picture in my mind.
To avoid brevity: fill your mind with all the details of the scene you are writing and then put it down as it comes to you. Don't worry about the end of the story, don't force it, let the story flow with vivid detail that will bring it to life for your readers. Only when you settle your mind into the river of imagination, soaking in it, encouraging all ideas to blossom . . . Build it with care, with artful design, and then it will not suffer from brevity.

5 comments:

Jake said...

Thanks! That really helps.

Scott Appleton said...

Good, I'm glad! Certain aspects of writing are very difficult to explain, especially as it pertains to individual strengths or weaknesses.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

Good stuff.

Yeah brevity was never something I did will either lol Well, never DO well either haha I'd rather expand than cut back and often do. Plus...I'm not good at getting to the point.

Notice the long comment? Yeah...me too <_< lol

-Nathan

Star-Dreamer said...

This is a good post, and so true. I find myself writing backstory and such quite often. Why should writers always think about just how the story will end, or how everything will fit together? Save that for the rewrite. Life doesn't flow together that well, and your rough draft doesn't have to either.

Andrew K. York said...

I was (and still am) listening to your presentations that you have on the sidebar, and I enjoy them a lot! It is very cool to listen to your journey!

I have a question about Flaming Pen Press:

How do you do the actual printing of the book?

I have wondered about this for a while!

Good post, by the way!

WELCOME TO THE WRITING SITE OF SCOTT APPLETON

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.