Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Boiling words away.

This blog was inspired by "Jake's Cutting Blog", which my brother Jake had many moons ago. It wasn't about teenaged angst so much as words. Jake's in marketing, which means he's usually drunk, and he has nine kids, which means he's usually drunk, but regardless he's good at efficient writing and also choosing excellent scotch.

What he'd do in his blog is take other peoples' work and then cut it down so that it would say the same thing with the same tone in less words, and talk his way through the process. I mentioned this at one point in my writing group, and several members felt that "cutting" was too severe.

Joy suggested instead that it's more like condensing, like making stock for soup. I've enjoyed editing for some time now, and am all about word efficiency... That is to say, I tend to ramble a bit when I'm off-the-cuff writing, and violate most of my own rules when doing so, but my finished drafts are as efficient as I can make them.

What I hope to do is pick up where he left off: take samples of other peoples' works and trim them down, make them as efficient as possible. I believe that efficiency is good for fiction and nonfiction both, because it makes the read faster, easier, and punchier--you don't have to wade through a zillion words to learn that Jimmy coughed.

So there it is. That's why I set this up, and I hope people enjoy my efforts in this regard. Please feel free to comment and tell me how very right or very wrong I am.