They are a writer’s tools, fuel, paintbrush, sustenance, building blocks, joy, co-conspirators…and often, worst enemy.
Have you ever known someone who starts sharing an exciting event with you, but fills the story with so many details you forget why you wanted to hear it in the first place?
The right words can make a reader laugh, cry, thrust a triumphal fist in the air, start a revolution, or sigh in bliss. Toss too many words into a story, however, and all the reader will feel is frustration. If, that is, the story even has any readers.
How do I know? Well, that tale would require too many words.
So, since I’m knee-deep in the task of removing thousands of words from the novel I’m trying to get published, I’ll let Dr. Seuss finish this blog post for me. Continue reading →
As the knight neared the forge, only the backsmith’s back and a muffled, “See to ya in a moment,” greeted him. The burly man kept his gaze fixed on the set of iron tongs he held over the fire, the blade they gripped glowing orange in the midst of the flames.
The knight fanned away a gust of heated air and blinked the sting of woodsmoke from his eyes. “I can spare at least that long,” he shouted over the din of nearby armorers pounding out shields and breastplates.
“Sire.” The blacksmith favored him with a brief glance and nod. “This blade’s near ready for quenching. Can’t interrupt the process just yet.”
After a few moments, the blacksmith withdrew the red-hot shaft of steel from the forge and dunked it, point-first, into a vertical tube of warmed oil. The liquid hissed and smoked. He lifted the blade part-way from the tube, flames licking along its edge, then plunged it in again. After several repetitions of this, he withdrew the blade and laid it carefully aside to cool.
He snatched up a cloth to mop his shining brow and turned to the knight. “How may I serve?” Continue reading →