Sunday, October 21, 2012
Writing Conversation Part 6
5. KISS – Keep it simple stupid. You seem to spend a lot of time on detail and historical background, like you’re making a complete role-playing game world/universe. I’d suggest keeping your writing short and simple for now, especially if the story is in a genre that is not interesting to the reader. I would be more likely to read something that I’m not very interested in if it was short. Also, there are many very fine stores that are short (Shane, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, most of Howards “Conan” stuff, ect.). I think a very good example of what I’m driving at is “Beau Geste” by P.C. Wren. If you haven’t read this book, look it up and give it a go. It’s pretty short, a very easy read, but well written, good plot twists, and with interlocking characters in a unexpected fashion. I think it was written in a society and place that the author knew very well. Very much KISS in my opinion. One of my favorites. By the way, don’t read the Wikipedia or other reviews, they have spoilers in them. Just read the book first.
Good main point always. It isn't bad to think of that as a life lesson.
Another thing I want to say is that I have not read the work he suggested, "Beau Geste" by P.C. Wren and I probably should. I cannot comment on that work at this time, but I will take his advice and read it.
Now, my contention with this comment is that he has missed an important point, two points really. The first is that what you see here in this blog is not a balanced representation of my writing. Mostly what you see here is the guts of the machinery. The finished product, the outer shell, the ready for public consumption part is not what you find here. I usually try to send that off to be published elsewhere.
The second and probably more important point that he missed is that I enjoy world building. I would and do, world build even when there is no story to put in that world. In fact I often have to admonish myself to find some story to put in the worlds I like to build.
On top of the fact that I just like it, world building gives me a certain power that even writing does. In world building at this level I get to decide everything. I have the power to make the worlds that I create obey me absolutely. I enjoy that.
This is certainly not to say that I am megalomanical, but there are some things in the world that just can't be fixed and it is because that is not the way this world works. I like to play in worlds where that IS the way they work.
It is not that I want all the power, but that I want to be able to fix things. I want us to go back to the moon, I want people to realize that 2% of the US Federal budget is not too much to pay for space exploration. I want to play in a world that has cured cancer.
Those are two sides to the same coin I use for world building. There is another coin that I use and it too has two sides. It is a negative coin.
First, I never feel confident that I know enough about a real place, person or thing to not be caught being wrong. If I make a whole world up who is to say I'm wrong.
Lastly, most of the time I don't want to sully the things I love in the real world with my own silly meanderings.
I will agree that I too often suffer from what's called Analysis Paralysis. I get to much pleasure, to apprehensive about production, to actually bring the story itself to fruition. I should take note of that and take it very closely to heart.