On Being Minimal Part 1

On Being Minimal

Being minimal lightens your load and keep life — and your writing – simple.
Photo source: Pixabay

Positive Affirmation of the Day:

I walk lightly among other spirits and only consume what I need.

Central Theme of Your Writing Piece for the Day:

Less is more.

A Personal Experience

A friend of mine gave me a book that his friend had self-published.  Apparently, the self-published friend had several books under his belt.  However, he wondered why they didn’t sell very well.

Excitement surged through me as I curled up with a new book.  What exciting journey will I be going on tonight?

The first page was SO painful.  The second page was torture.  I tried with all of my might to keep going, but everything blurred together.  I had to go back a few times to see who was talking,  the constant jumping of heads made it hard to keep track of what was what, and the shift in tenses made me wonder if I was in the past, present, or future.

Despite all of these glaring errors, what stood out to me the most was the information dump on the third page.  This is where writer’s want to share information about the character since the beginning of time.  This is not necessary.

What is information dump?

The writer wants the reader to know everything about the character since the day they came into this world.  This usually shows up in the form of paragraphs after paragraphs about the character’s past.  Finally, on page 8 the writer gets into the good part of the story.

This is fine in the first draft — after all, the entire point of a first draft is to get EVERYTHING on paper.  Who cares how messy it is!

The second draft is a time to chop out the gluttonous usage of words that slow the story down.

How do you know what to keep and what to toss out? 

I’ll share this information in the next post On Being Minimal Part 2!

You have two writing challenges for your intuitive connection journal today.  Read the challenges and close your eyes to connect with that snippet of time.  Allow yourself to walk through the experience and be sure to capture as much as you can with your words.

Writing Challenge #1: Revisit your work in progress and find one page. Just one page.  See if there are words that could be edited out.  Passages that could benefit from being shorter.  Highlight those spots and then make the necessary modifications.

Writing Challenge #2: Take a look at the dialogue between your characters.  Less is more.  Are there some passages in your work-in-progress that could benefit from some word elimination?  Perhaps one of your characters might say few words, but carry weight.  Play around with this and see where your piece might benefit from this.

Once you’ve completed your writing challenge, set it aside.  After some days have passed, return to your work and see how you can incorporate some of what you have written into your current book.

SignatureHappy Writing.

I’d love to hear how this oracle has enhanced your writing.  Leave a comment and enrich the lives of our other readers.  Pay your experiences forward.

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Meli Halstead is a kickass teacher who helps writers get their stories written using a variety of oracles.  She has held several workshops to help writers get their thoughts into book form.  Her goal for the 2014 – 2015 year is to help 1300 writers write their book.  She has written and published several short stories in her life time.  She also gives a voice to those who are trapped in the cruel world of human trafficking.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

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