Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Too Many Raisins

For the first time ever, I had a bowl of raisin bran and could not possibly eat all the raisins. Which another morning might have been amusing, but since I had to get up earlier than normal, it just annoyed me.

So how does this relate to writing? A while ago I posted about the presence of the word "that" in my book. And then I had a discussion with a friend about the Harry Potter books, and I mentioned that my least favorite was The Order of the Phoenix because I found the writing self-indulgent.

You know those little phrases or even scenes that you just love, and you croon over them and skip them in your edits? Well, they are like the many raisins in my bowl of cereal this morning. Some are good, but a lot is just too many.

To be blunt - cut them out if they don't further the plot. Please, I beg of you.

Now off to class. Only a few more weeks of this quarter and then I can relax.


  1. Funny you say that about Order of the Phoenix; it was my least favourite, too. I didn't pick up on the writing aspect of it, though I might now (I read it prior to doing any fiction writing myself and I find I notice the writing a lot more now than I did before). I remember thinking I mostly didn't like it because it didn't feel like very much *happened*. Even though in breaking down the plot there was lots going on... I dunno, maybe the stakes felt lower? Or maybe it was just the writing was slower and my reader-self didn't pick up on it.

  2. It's called "kill your darlings." :) And it's really tricky but absolutely necessary to avoid that over-indulgent syndrome you mention.

  3. Thank you! I blanked and couldn't remember the term!