Another snippet from WTES

This is from the chapter in Writing the Entertaining Story on What Not to Do, which also has advice on what to do, instead:

So, what Cheney is saying is that—for short stories, at least—she does not stop to research things while she is writing. She marks that research is needed, keeps writing, and comes back to fill in the items needing research later. I’m guessing its one of the reasons she is such a prolific writer.

She adds,

If you’ve ever run across an author who gives tons of details about things that don’t seem to have anything to do with the plot, it’s likely they researched first, then tried to fit all their research in.

Don’t be that person who clutters their prose with unnecessary detail that distracts and bores the reader. Any extra research serves a purpose,  but bulking up your story or book is not what it’s for. It provides a subconscious sense of depth and weight to your story, like this iceberg:

The reader only sees what’s above the waterline, detail which is necessary to further the story, but you as the writer know so much more. And, trust me, the reader can sense an assurance that a writer knows what they are talking about. It gives it weight.

(Note: This is also why derivative works fall flat: the copycat writer is only copying that which is, as it were,  above the waterline.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *