The lean story

Although I didn't start out, or even plan, on publishing short stories, I think doing so has helped me with my overall approach to writing.

You see, in a short story, especially an erotic short story, you need to characterize in very few words. Let's face it, erotic shorts are all about the encounter. Okay find, enough with the euphemism, they're mostly about the sex. They have to be, but they aren't porn. In other words, the reader needs to be invested in the characters. They're not faceless people having sex. You care about them. It's my job to draw the reader in using very few words and if I haven't made the reader have an emotional connection with my characters, then I haven't done my job.

Translate that into a full length or even novella length story. Here I have room to spread out, to explore characters in more depth, however, the techniques that I've used in writing my shorts are priceless. I've lost my tendency to be wordy. My sentences are cleaner, they cut to the chase more succinctly without falling short of detail.

All in all, because I've learned to cut out the chaff, even when I have a longer story to tell, even in rough draft, I tell it more efficiently. Less fluff, more muscle.

My newest ms is still going to need a lot of editing, but it's nice to be able to look back and notice an improvement in my writing.

How has your writing changed over the years?


Kaily Hart said...

Hey Lynne, I only started writing at the end of 2008 but already I can see how I've grown as a writer. The biggest thing that happened was between ms 1 and 2. I found my voice and it felt SO great. Now, I'm comfortable with how I write. I started my blog as another way to improve my writing and think that helped me find my voice as well. Who would have thought people would actually read what I was writing? I started a novella yesterday and I so understand what you're talking about. I write 1,500 words yesterday on it! It just flowed. I seem to have the opposite challenge though. I'm not generally a wordy person so a full length ms for me to get into the nuts and bolts of the characters is a bit more of a challenge. Great post!

Lynne Roberts said...

Thank you, Kaily and good luck on your new MS!

Sometimes the work has a mind of its own. I set out to write a short (12K) and I'm already 15K in and half done. Crazy but I'm loving the characters.