Monday, November 30, 2009

Make Every Word Count

Nanowrimo is coming to a close today and for many it's been a month to write as many words as they can, at least 50,000.

With or without nano, I like to write my rough draft straight through and get the words on paper. Then I edit.

At this point, however, it's time to tighten the writing and make every scene, indeed every word count. Recently I've been writing 1,000 word short stories for promotion which has reiterated to me, the need to write tightly.

When writing tightly, every word of dialogue, scenery and plot must count. Nothing can be extraneous. Perhaps even characters can be combined.

I'm a big fan of "V" also known as "The Visitors". I loved the show in 1984 and I love the new version now. My husband bought the old mini-series and series on DVD so the kids and I have recently been watching it.

There are many similarities between the old series and the new. But the characters are tighter in the new. Some have been combined. For instance "Tyler", the boy who's enamored of the V's and becomes a V-youth-ambassador is also in love with one of the V's. He's also the son of Erica, the main female character.

In the old series, Tyler's character was a conglomeration of Mike's son (Mike was the reporter), Daniel the boy who was the V-youth ambassador and Robin, the young woman who was in love with Bryan, a foxy V.

Erica as I just mentioned, seems to be the new "Julie" who was the leader of the earth resistance movement in the old series. Julie was a doctor who happened to be a good leader. As much as I liked Julie, Erica's character is in a better position to help earth being an FBI agent who has access to the V's.

Ryan, the 5th Columnist V traitor in the new series is a combination of Willie, Bryan and Martin from the old. Ryan's a 5th Columnist V traitor who's in love with an earthling and helping the earthlings. He's also the father of the half-human/half-V baby.

The V's themselves are better drawn. Their voices aren't as rough in their reincarnation. They don't wear goggles and announce to us earthlings that their eyes are light sensitive. The observant will notice that Anna's eyes occasionally oddly flicker. She's the V's leader in the new series if you've not seen it.

Of course, the writers of the new series have had 25 years to observe and think about how to tighten the story. But we writers who are writing a never-before-told story have the responsibility to write tight prose, interesting characters and a fascinating plot.

Recent posts you might like to read:

Nanowrimo Thoughts 

To Nano Or Not To Nano - That Is The Question

Why You Should Consider Library Booksignings

Make Sure Pretentious Words Don't Turn Off Your Readers

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Unknown said...

I didn't reach the 50k goal this year, but I took a lot of days off! I'm still thrilled with what I have, though I know it needs a ton of editing. :)
December is my time for editing and writing smaller stuff - non-fiction, short stories.

Linda Kage said...

In my college writing class, I remember we had to write poems to practice tight writing. It was a good exercise and really made you pause and think about every single word I you wrote.

Molly Daniels said...

The series is now on DVD? I still have it on my DVR from the marathon.

I don't have a word count yet, but I'm speculating I'm somewhere around the 10K mark. Proof that having the SU home is a hinderance:)

Regina Carlysle said...

I've been seeing the ads for V. Looks really good.

Shelley Munro said...

V has just started here in NZ, and I'm watching it as I type this. I've enjoyed the first show.

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