Writing Rule #1: Verbosity Does Not Make It Literary



I’m taking this writing course with Gotham (NYC) and there are so many aspects of the fiction skill basket that are being covered, discussed, exercised and butchered.  Yes, BUTCHERED.  By whom?  Yours true-ly. 🙂

The most fun butchering occurred in this week’s exercise.  We were to write a a descriptive sentence about the sky we’re looking at right now.  Okay, no biggie, right?  (Oh, you’d be so wrong if you agreed!)

My first stab at this assignment went like so…

The flat whitened grey blue expanse filled the uppermost portion of the subway car window complete with wispy strips of cumulus clouds strewn about; the sky seemed to be encouraging me to doze off as I stood sways arthythmically while the train bumbled along its route.

Did you happen to count how many words are in this one sentence?  46

Yup.  I know — OVERkill. [Well, mine was not the longest one sentence!]

But lemme tell you, this was a freakin’ hee-larious class because the sentences got wilder, longer and crazier.  There were a couple of short sweet and to the point ones (oops — a cliche!  OMG.)  But they were in the minority.  The big verbose long-winded ones ruled the class and the last few days.

Before descriptions, it was POV.  Before that we were focusing on plot and the first lesson was on character.  We still have  bunch of tools to handle  but I am most interested in gaining more insight into ‘visual styles of writing’.  This sounds like it will yield a lot of great depth in my work.

Getting back to the descriptive assignment I redid it and submitted a shorter (hopefully!) cleaner line:
The train bumbled along as I stood swaying and watching the flat grey-blue expanse interrupted only by spears of buildings.

So, even if I learn nothing else I know that a sentence should NOT have 46-billion words in it — length does not mean literary!! :-O

Ta-ta for now,



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