It’s All In The Details

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My latest WIP is now in the hands of my agent after a month-long round of edits. Fingers crossed that it will make it to the submission phase before the year is out. We’re working on a pitch, which is a good sign.

The interesting thing about this latest round of edits is that I added words instead of editing them out. And it was challenging, and tricky, and time-consuming (yes, I spent 90 minutes on two sentences that I can recite in my sleep), and dare I say–fun. It appears that my first few go a-rounds had left out important details.

My excuse? I’m a get to the point kinda gal. When I read the work of author’s burying me in atmosphere I have been known to skip to the juicy parts. (Unless the atmosphere is completely captivating, an important part of the mystery, or I’m enamored with the writer’s skill, then I’ll dawdle over it.) In turn, when I write, I try to follow Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing, or at least I follow number ten, which is “. . . leave out the parts that people skip.” And it’s predecessor 9. “Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.” So most of my writing comes out lean and mean, fresh and clean.

But what I failed to realize is my short stories/flash fiction that’s been published is the writing that has those little details. Those details are what draw out tension, add character flavor, and make readers feel like they’re right there in the pages of the story.

My duh moment.

So while BAD MOJO winds its way through Veritas, I’ve started something new: a middle grade sci-fantasy novel, sort of a Super8/ET meets The Secret Garden, with the Blaski spin of course. It’s WIP title is BLUEFLY. And you can bet those little details are spinning earlier rather than later.

Now if I can just get a handle on rule number 5. “Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” Kinda tough when your protagonist is an enthusiastic eleven-year old.

Photo by Jack Schiffer

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