Friday, May 28, 2010

Write, shovel, repeat....write, shovel, repeat....

It just doesn't seem possible that it's almost been six weeks since The Light of Asteria went live. The time has flown by, and between setting up a shoe-string book tour, marketing, the website, twitter, ect. I haven't had time to write anything more than a scant blog here and there. If I'm not careful I'll find myself behind the proverbial eight ball. I need to get back in the creative groove, and so this morning I got up at 4:30 to sneak a couple hours of writing in before work. I automatically opened Asteria, giggled, closed it down, and took out the flash drive that holds The Secret of the Keepers, Kailmeyra's Strength

I haven't read through the manuscript in three months, and when I started on the third chapter (not even bothering to read whatever it is I've considered the first and second), it struck me just how naturally wordy I am.  I love to cut loose and let the characters just say and do what they want, giving as much detail to the imaginative vision as I possibly can. The first draft of Asteria was almost 225,000 words. When it finally made it to print it was down to a svelte 118,544.

I wonder if there's a group out there somewhere for this affliction. I can see it now ... dirty chairs, bad coffee, and me standing at a podium humbly stating, "hello, my name is Elizabeth and I'm an overwriter". Some may view it as a waste of time, needlessly writing dialogue, or over-describing scenes, but I think it's like a good soup stock. Boil away the inconsequential and the flavor strengthens. I know eventually I'll have the unenviable task of taking a shovel to the scene, making it mean and lean, every word pulling the reader forward, but until then I'll enjoy the ride. 

What about you? Do you tend to overwrite, or are you more of a sketch-in-and-then-add kind of personality?