Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Simplicity

When designing websites I keep everything simple. This makes them easier to update and maintain. The same approach helps me when writing.

Long, tortuous words may look impressive in literary fiction, but what good do they really do when trying to tell a story? Likewise with a story: how many subplots do you really need?

This simplicity of style is the basis of the short story and some of the greatest writers of the last two hundred years started out with this form: one story, one person, no subplots.

I also find that when I'm having trouble with a novel, it's because I've made it too complex. If I as the writer can't keep up with what's going on, how will the reader?

Simplify the story, simplify the writing, enjoy life.

6 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

Good advice! I like lots of subplots because I usually interweave my plot lines. I always have at least 2 or 3. I make things so complicated, but I try to keep the subplots simple at least...

:)

Tess said...

This is so true - and really important, I think. It's sometimes hard to know what it too much and what is not enough, but practice makes perfect, er...better (I hope, I hope!)

Martin Willoughby said...

LG - 2 or 3 isn't that complex. It's when it gets to 4, 5, 6 or more that it gets confusing. How many subplots were there in each Harry Potter?

Tess - practice does make perfect...even if takes all of eternity.

Justus M. Bowman said...

I introduced way too many subplots into my first novel.

Warren Baldwin said...

You have a lot of good suggestion on writing that I am finding helpful.

Martin Willoughby said...

Warren, I'm glad to be of help.