This is particularly true in my case, as I have a simple, precise style and my first drafts are rather minimalist. (Are you that way, a fellow Hemingway? Or are you a Faulkner?)
But what does “going deeper” mean? What’s the difference between going deeper and adding fluff?
Writing is never easy, and it’s not something you can do alone: you will always need beta readers and editors to help you fill in holes and iron out the excess.
Still, there are general ways I find myself taking a draft “deeper” before I ever send it off to beta readers.
- I CUT DOWN ON WHAT FEELS SUPERFLUOUS. A book can only have so many words, after all, and you…
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Anyone with clinical depression who has been told to ‘think positive’ and ‘remember the good times’ will know the creepy, forced smile you offer the purveyor of said well meaning sentiments. Because trying to explain to anyone that actually has access to the happy part of their brain that you don’t really want to be miserable, you’ve just lost the ability to feel good, is like being repeatedly slapped in the face with a trout.
Depression is a negativity dump truck, unloading its toxic cargo of sad thoughts, self doubt and unpleasant memories into your cranium every hour of the day. The reason sufferers can’t just focus on happy thoughts is that, temporarily, they don’t exist. All that was once joyful and light has been squirrelled away deep in the annals of your consciousness, to be uncovered once depression’s done playing it’s sick and twisted game. Sometimes it’s impossible to…
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It was that way right from the beginning, I’m sure. Carvers in stone, makers of runes, scribes in papyrus and parchment, right up to workaday paper — Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English — Making books is weary WORK, not glamour. Don’t take my word for it; here is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of, among many other long works, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera:
“Ultimately literature is nothing but carpentry. Both are very hard work. Writing something is almost as hard as making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work involved.”
Carpentry! But people persist in regarding writing…
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As I’m gearing up to self-publish with both e-book and paperback options, the news breaks today that Stephen King has made the decision to not provide an e-book option for his upcoming book Joyland. In today’s digital age where authors like Neil Gaiman are pushing for change in order to keep up rather than to go extinct, it’s either a bold move or a big financial mistake.
The decision to not include an e-book at all for Joyland makes readers have to purchase the physical book, which is King’s ultimate motive. In a move that shows support for brick-and-mortar stores, the book is available for pre-order as a paperback on Amazon, but a reader can purchase a limited hardback edition through Titan Books. So that may change things slightly as he is not treating the release in the traditional way. Now he’s making the hardback a limited…
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A simple hearing error.
How often anymore does the typical student encounter the word penchant? Still, somebody she heard had encountered it…or that person had heard it from someone who had encountered it…all the way down into the Quaker Oatmeal box, at some point in which sequence there was a person who actually knew the word was penchant. Whoever heard that person, though, didn’t know the word, and in came “pension.”
How strange it is that college undergraduates would be more likely to know the word “pension” than “penchant.” Are they thinking about retirement before they even enter the ranks of the employed? It’s possible to receive a pension without retiring, as Webster’s first and second variants on definition #1 show: “a fixed sum paid regularly to a person; a gratuity granted (as by a government) as a favor or reward.” But there’s our common understanding, in definition…
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