Friday, February 19, 2016


Yesterday I cried out to a fellow writer: “Help, what do you do when you have completed the story at 25,000 words and you are aiming for 55,000?”

She answered: “I Hear ya. Like you said, “Keep on keeping on.”

Didn't someone say, ‘God is in the details?’" I asked.

And I quote my dear friend:
“Sure, God might be in the details, but some of the best mysteries are not.  One of my  all-time favorite writing classes was when we were asked to tell a story without any specifics.  We were to build a story as if we had already given all the history, details, and particulars and were now simply following the flow of events that the characters were experiencing.  It was challenging but a ton of fun!  It was so cool when we began sharing our stories and discovered that each reader (or listener) had constructed their own background by putting in the missing particulars themselves.  The fascinating thing was that not one person had the same story because each reader had been forced to come up with their own details.  They actually became a part of the creation.  Some of the most intriguing movies are constructed that way.  The audience has to put in their own particulars.  It's as if they are a part of the history of the story.  It's very creative.  If you aren't told too much, you get to make it up yourself!

#Ray Bradbury said, “A story goes until it’s over.”

 What say you?

I was reading a book on #Kindle the other night, that damn Kindle was touchy, didn’t want to turn the pages, kept going back, but that’s beside the point. I don’t mean to insult the Kindle,  it has its place—but stay in your place. Do not replace good old hold-in-the-hands paper books. Okay, I mourn the diminishing supply of bookstores. 

Alas,  back to the subject,  I wanted the basic story. It was a horse story, not #Seabiscuit, that was exquisite, but this one, ambled all over the place, history of the world and people and horses. (It worked in Seabiscuit, but not here, at least not in my agitated state of mind.)  I was scanning, for my purpose was to read about the horse. And don’t tell me about any cruel training procedures either. Okay, I thought, they are padding this book because the story about the horse isn’t long enough.

So I ask, what’s the sense of writing material the reader will scan rather than relish so that your word content meets publisher’s specifications?

My daughter phoned as soon as I had gotten to this point on the page, and the subject ensured. I commented that more people read non-fiction than fiction.

"Wait," she asked, “They buy it, but do they read it?”

Good question. We believe a particular book will give us something we want,  information, how-to do something, be something, think something, yet my daughter pointed out that what she likes to read is-- well for one her favorite author is Mercedes Lackey, a Science fiction writer who knows God is in the details. My daughter says what she wants is to be immersed in a different world. She doesn’t care so much what the action is, she doesn’t go from one car chase to another. She wants to hang out with the characters. What do they eat, think, feel? What is the atmosphere, and the shape of the land?

Yes,  I believe that fiction can add color, perspective, depth, and philosophy without being blatant or preachy. I can be an enrichment experience. 

Ah, the challenge.

Any comments?