Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Take It Away

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

How much of what we write could be taken away from the story and still make sense? Probably quite a lot if the truth be told. It's why I like the writing of Mitch Albon.

I took a chance on one of his books last year and have not regretted it. They are sparsely written but have so much story in them. His sparse style is one that every writer could learn from.

How much of what we write should we take out? Having looked at the relative length of the chapters in my WIP, I have come to the conclusion that the first chapter is too long. This is something that is backed up by some comments received in feedback. Interestingly, I already know which bits can be cut out.

What of your WIP? What could you cut out, however well it's written, and the story still make sense?

2 comments:

PV Lundqvist said...

Love the quote.

I go for the spare style of writing myself. How often have you thought this book could have been longer?

I never think that way. Always shorter.

KLo said...

Cutting out is painful for me ... I resist this step of the writing process at every turn. It's hard to kill your babies :(

Thanks for mentioning Mitch Albom, too. My friend nagged me to read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven", and I've had to acquiesce to many a "I told you so" since then. And "Tuesdays With Morrie"? I just could not stop crying.