Friday, August 26, 2011
Substance vs Bling in Story Writing
However, my hubby has convinced me to take his old phone: an iphone 3G. The most exciting thing about this upgrade? I get to take off his boring black cover and replace it with a shiny new one with bling. The more dazzling, the better. The curious thing is, it wasn’t until he started telling me about all the features that I started to love this hand-me-down.
My point? While bling on phones, in my opinion, is a good thing, the real appreciation won’t emerge until we discover a greater function. The same goes with writing. Sometimes I can get lost in the fancy descriptions and the amazing settings. I’ll make the wording pretty for the sake of pretty. This isn’t a good thing. Without substance, the shinies of our stories can drag the pace down. They can change the focus from where we want it to be.
Every word, sentence, paragraph needs a purpose in our stories, whether to add atmosphere, set a scene, reveal something about a character—and it’s even better when it has more than one purpose. If a description or dialogue is included for the sake of it, it has to go.
Do you struggle with removing the shinies? What are the kind of features that distract you from a story when you are reading or watching a movie?