Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Don’t let words get in the way of what you write

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader -- not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L. Doctorow
            E. L. Doctorow eloquently states what I’m getting at about not letting words get in the way of what you write. It’s easy, as a writer, to get caught up in the sounds words make, in trying to make a perfect sentence, one that sings. The problem is sometimes this becomes more about the sentence than about sticking to this very simple truth: telling us it is raining is fine but going on and on about it because you like the sound of words often leads to indulgence and bad choices. For the reader, if this is done a lot, the whole story begins to feel forced, and they lose confidence in the writing.  SO, in my humble opinion,this kind of writing becomes a distraction for both reader and writer and often leads the writer into bad choices about story and sometimes character. 

One key point in creating fiction, in my humble opinion, is that the reader experience, with the characters, what's happening. Langauge that makes the reader feel the rain coming down on them instead of language that simply tells the reader that it is raining (and sometimes tells them at great length) is essential to making the reader experience the story. Or so I think today.

***ALSO, along these lines, see editor Cheryl Klein’s blog about not using sense words so much. Instead try to go directly to the feeling.
ALIEN INVASION & OTHER INCONVENIENCES is an Amazon special this month—which means KINDLE version is very cheap. Here’s the link if interested:
And it is also a top ten bestseller-- well, not really---#4 on the teen &ya>Sci fi & fantasy> aliens
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in
Kindle Store) #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Aliens
 ///If they just added "aliens that are green and very short" to that description the novel would probably be #1 in its category. I'm grateful that people are reading it and all, but I see how easy it is to manipulate the rankings. If you just make the description specific enough there are fewer and fewer books to be ranked with. So now when authors write their books are a top ten amazon seller...I have to wonder how much that really means...Maybe this is old news to some but new to me.

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