Friday, December 3, 2010

Brevity is the soul of... excruciating amputation and necessary lipo

I've read that "brevity is the soul of wit" (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, spoken by Polonius -- read it.) and, apparently it is also the core of good writing. Jane Friedman over at Writer Unboxed has a great post up on the subject.

This is another bloody lesson I am learning through the painfully slow processing of writing the third draft (or second-and three quarters?) of my first coming-of-age novel for Young Adults.

I have a tendency to get caught up in a beautiful turn of phrase and then... bludgeon it to death by going overboard on the inclusion of sensory information. Sigh. So this is why God made editors. (a heartfelt thank you to mine, who is making me better!)

When I get these edits back, with entire paragraphs suffering from the editor's RED LINES OF DOOM, it feels like my precious pages have been sprayed by an arterial bleed because, after all, a leg or arm has just been severed. But although amputation can be both tragic and life-altering, it can also be life-saving. But still. It feel harsh at the time. So, choosing to think of this surgery as a positive action, I am choosing to call it something prettier. I'm calling it liposuction. Cuz it's cutting the fat.

Now if only I could apply those same principles to my waistline....

1 comment:

Tracy Krauss said...

No pain no gain, as they say ... Blessings