I’m happy to announce I’ve finished a new mystery short story, just shy of 5,000 words. I was lucky to get a substantive edit from the person who is editing the anthology where it will be published. With her insights I was able to make this story so much better. I thought I’d share some of them with you.
She reminded me that readers expect cause and effect. In every paragraph. Flow is critical to keeping the reader’s eye moving forward. No one wants to be pulled out of the story, have to go back and re-read, or go what? That doesn’t make sense. In most cases this meant I needed to move a sentence around, or even a partial sentence.
Also, continuity is as important in a story as it is in film. I left a couple things unsaid that, when actually said made for a better story. Not every single detail has to be tied up, but most do.
The thing I’m working on most often these days is how to keep the reader curious so he or she will keep turning those pages. That means I need to re-read every thing I write with this in mind, and not be afraid to nit pick my own work.
After the first draft of course! If a writer focuses too hard on the details as she goes, she might end up with writer’s block. Perfectionism kills creativity.
Tomorrow I plan to work on my outline for the book in progress. Then, it’s pages, people! Must produce the pages!
What about you? What are you working on today?