Learning how to expand again

I was browsing through random blogs and I stumbled upon a post by Christi Craig. It rang with a topic that Flynn and I was talking about last night.

I’ve gotten too used to writing in drabbles it seems. Oh sure, a few times I will be able to write a 1,000 words out in half an hour, but usually I falter when I go further than 200. Making for some very short chapters.

The advantage to a drabble is that you learn to write the point of the piece very quickly, very poignantly, and you really make the best of those 100 words. An editor’s dream. The disadvantage is that sometimes the reader is left blinking at a scene that flashed by too quickly. I’ve found myself reading several posted drabbles before even thinking of reviewing. So, I find no fault for readers who actually take the time to say a drabble is good, but short.

Flynn, has never seen the need to write in short blurbs. Indeed, until last night I had no idea that she had a goal of 4,000 words per chapter. Sometimes she flies through chapters one a week, sometimes faster. In fact, for the past week she’s been writing like a fiend (nearly a chapter a day) and blaming me for it. Somehow I don’t feel any remorse.

When we trade a piece back and forth, I find that my ideas flow faster and that I write more. Details are something that I strive for and Flynn has noticed that I am quite good at them.

I still suffer from blank-page syndrome. I have an idea of what I want to write, but I’m hesitating on the threshold thinking, ‘What do I want the first impression to be?’ Curse my magazine teacher for impressing upon us the importance of that first sentence!

While complaining about it is all good and cathartic, it does not change that I do need to get into the hang of writing longer pieces. Flynn just pats me on the head and encourages me to practice. I have been. It seems to be getting easier, but I am still in awe of her 4,000 word chapters!

So as a writer, do you suffer from extreme conciseness or textual diarrhea? Is the former something to fix or cultivate? As to the latter, what inspires your words?

(Christi’s blog gave me the idea of posing a question at the end. Credit goes to her for inspiration!)


About azhwi

An editing student, graduated Feb 2012. An avid fan of video games, fanfiction, anime, writing, and the serial comma.
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Learning how to expand again

  1. Eric Swett says:

    I suffer from both really. Part of me wants to be grand and full of words strung together into beautiful literature. The other part of me strives for minimalism. As a consequence I do a little of both. I refuse to let either side win!


  2. Thanks for the shout out here. One of the first pieces I wrote was barely 1100 words, and that was painful enough. But now, when I need to stretch something out, I re-read the piece (or ask a writer friend to read it), and ask the question: in which parts of the story do I, the reader, want to know more?

    I look forward to asking that question when I sit down with my finished novel manuscript. I’ve got to get to the end first! 🙂


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