Today was a short writing day. And I mean SHORT. It was only around 30 minutes. And I only got to one chapter. And that one chapter I cut from 600 words to 300. So, yes, SHORT, all round.
But I also feel like it was a good writing day. My revelation of keeping things simple really affected me. For one, it picked up the pace of the story. For another (and this one is more important), it got me back to my usual style. Even more than that, it got me back to a style that was BEFORE my usual style.
Okay, I’ll admit, that must sound confusing. I’ll explain. When I wrote the original manuscript for The King’s Son, I was doing a stream of consciousness type thing. It was the first time I had ever done that (but not the last), so I let whatever wanted to happen happen. And what happened was that I wrote these small scenes that eventually blended into one story.
Later, I got it into my head that I needed to flesh it out more. And, to be honest, I did have to. But I didn’t have to do it in the way that I had. I wrote too much in each scene, gave too much information (description, character’s thoughts, history). It wasn’t the right way to go.
That’s why keeping it simple had such an affect. It allowed me to focus on one or two ideas only in each chapter. And that made things faster and more exciting, more to the point.
Let me give you an example. The chapter I just worked on was about a baby and her mother. The baby drops her ball and the mother comes and picks it up and consoles her. In my rewrite I got into the mother’s thoughts about her husband being away on a dangerous quest in a dangerous world. That brought up the baby being concerned. Then the mother trying to hide that and console her child once more. Then the ball again.
See? It was too much.
In my new rewrite that I did today, I focused on the point I wanted to make: the baby is in a warm and loving house compared to the harsh world outside. That’s pretty much it. And since I’ve already written a chapter about that harsh world, I can rely on the reader to see the comparison without getting into the thoughts of the mother. That doesn’t mean I won’t get into her thoughts. I will. I just won’t do it yet. I’ll save it for a chapter that deals with the mother’s thoughts.
So, in summary (I have no idea why I’m trying to sound all professional here), I’ve discovered that my writing is best when I focus on one (maybe two) ideas in each chapter. I think I can hit those ideas fast and hard and make reading my work more enjoyable. It definitely makes writing it that way.