L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 20, 2014 - 12:01pm

At what point did your writing (if it ever was spare), gradually became more verbose? I'm finding as I practice the concept of the anti-character, or how the character effects the environment, and less of the character themself. I'm finding that my paragraphs are becoming bigger.

It puts things in a whole other light when I take out my old work, and try to revise it. I'm no longer thinking about who that character is in their head, but more about what others make of the character, and of course how they keep their room saying just as much about what mental condition they have.

The physical aspects of the scene, like the fact that they might have strewn papers on the floor, that their wooden table has not been maintained, and a car rental lease is about overday by about three days saying more than, "he always let boose get the better of him."

It seems as I get more specific, the word count increases.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 23, 2014 - 4:03am

Vice versa for me, when I go back and look at old work my word count drops.  Novels become novellas, novellas become short stories, short stories become flash fiction, and it is a good thing I've just started flash fiction recently or I'm not sure what it would be.

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon July 25, 2014 - 7:30am

Me, too. My word count decreases when I revise.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 26, 2014 - 5:36pm

I actually prefer flash fiction, I really have to work to write full length shorts.:/

J.C. Wigriff's picture
J.C. Wigriff from Carbondale, IL is reading Playboy (for the articles) July 26, 2014 - 6:25pm

I tend to fluctuate. If I write something really minimalist, upon rereading it I'll likely think "where's all the detail? This is garbage." I'll then go about padding it out, making it more verbose in an attempt to set the scene better, or make the world more organic. After a couple days I'll read it again and think, "what the hell was I thinking with all of this masturbatory, extraneous nonsense? This is garbage." Rinse. Repeat. 

Actually, no matter how much I love something I've written initially, I almost always end up at "this is garbage," so keep that in mind. Haha. 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 27, 2014 - 4:21am

Yea writers seem prone to those confidence fluctuations.:/ Prose is very unnatural for me, it still feels like I'm landed the poetry rover on planet prose.

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck July 28, 2014 - 8:22am

It depends on my writing process for a particular story or scene.  Sometimes I find that I don't have much to put into a scene at the moment - or I havent' figured it out completely - so I write the bare bones, just to get the gist down and give me something structured to work from later.  In that case, my word count goes up.  Other times, I have so much detail in my head that I put way more into a scene than is necessary, then later go back and omit as needed.

And then sort of a blend of the two, if I have absolutely no clue what to do with a scene, sometimes I'll just rant and ramble and pick out the good parts.  Even if I don't use any of it, at the very least, it helps me work out my thoughts on a scene.

I tend to surprise myself with my word count.  Sometimes I'll spend a couple hours writing, and then look back and am like "Man, I must've written ten pages," and it's only 600 words.  This happens when the act of writing feels laborious.  But when I hit a good flow, and the time flies by, I think I wrote maybe 1,000 words, and am shocked that I got down 3,500.

If the writing itself is mostly good, my word count doesn't change much, I just polish it up and it comes out about the same, like turning bulk muscle into tone. 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 28, 2014 - 10:25am

I guess I'll see what happens. I have a bit of the paperclip effect, or write chapters that last to the length of a paperclip, before coming to a close. I'd like to start doing chapters that need seven paperclips, but for now it's those short four page chapters.

I'd need 20 paperclips to edit the whole thing.

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck July 29, 2014 - 12:16pm

I don't think word count really matters in the end.  You use however many you need to do what you're doing.  I get wanting a story to be long though.  Really make the reader invest the time into it.

Also, what do you mean by "lasting the length of a paperclip"?  I've never heard that before.  Sounds interesting.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 29, 2014 - 12:23pm

Oh it's a joke about how I can't seem to write normal length chapters. My chapters tend to be well within the length of a paperclip, without bending it. Which means I might use paperclip instead of Arc 1, story 2, story 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

(If I knew this back when I did Mechanic Slave, I'd have a larger body of work now.)