Wednesday, June 8, 2011
3 Ways to Avoid the Waffle in Writing
Below are some tips we can use to help us stay on track:
Slash and burn. One major question to ask often is, does this scene, character, paragraph, sentence add anything to the story? We grow attached to moments of writerly genius. We hold onto our little treasures and often fail to see they can take the shine from the story if their only purpose is to dazzle. Anything that doesn’t add to the story, reveal something relevant about a character, or push the plot forward, has to go.
Find clarity. Another important question to ask is, what am I trying to communicate? Often we wander around our stories or scenes because we aren’t entirely sure of what we want to say. We may not be sure of our characters, we may have too many characters, we may not have a clear idea of where we want the plot to go.
Get a second opinion. Or a third and fourth. Often we get too close to our manuscripts and we lose the ability to discern the weak areas. Find someone you trust, preferably someone with some knowledge of story structure, and get their opinion. Ask them if there are parts that slow down the story. Ask them if they feel there are any unnecessary scenes.
Can you think of other ways of avoiding the waffle? What do you do to keep your stories tight?
Pic: A huge thanks to Dezmond for the use of the picture of these Rum Bombs. Neither of us had waffle pics but I thought this one was brilliant. His cakes are truly amazing. Check them out on his Facebook album: Dezz in the Kitchen. He will also soon open Dezmond Dish Delish culinary site. Sounds exciting!