Friday, January 20, 2012

More Rewrites

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing me talk about rewrites, but I promise this is the last one.

I've gone through a rewrite of 30-60 explaining the whole prophecy and mission and everyone's roles in more direct and deliberate terms. At this time I wanted to share a kernel of wisdom.

Simpler is better.

Is there an easier way to say things? Are you using fifteen words when five will suffice? Passive voice, purple prose and long windedness slows your plot down and confuses your reader. Here's my anecdote for the situation.

In Threadcaster God is gone. Like, he left - vanished - caught the last train for the coast, all that jazz. As a result people are getting cursed. In the book I explain this one sentence: God left and the people were cursed. with three paragraphs of flowery prose and two pages of explanation making sure my audience and my characters understood what I wanted them to without drawing false conclusions. So for this rewrite I went back in and explained the whole thing as "God left and the people were Cursed and this is how you fix it" and suddenly both Cat and the audience understood without the pages and paragraphs! Everything's better, everyone's happy.

So yeah, there's my wisdom. Use the fancy language if you have to, but don't overindulge, it will get out of hand and then you'll need to do four rewrites. Peace out.