Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A cluttered home...

My house is small. And thanks to the housing market, our two year plan is prolonged for an undefined period. We're going on five years and will probably be here for at least three more. 

What's the biggest problem? Space. See, we only have 970 sq ft to work with. And now that our fifth child's on the way...let's just say we have to get creative. 

Not to mention we have to get rid of anything that isn't necessary! We just said goodbye to the entertainment center that held many treasures behind its closed doors. Where did all those treasures go? Either to a different spot in our house or out of the house completely. 

What does this have to do with writing?

Let's say our book should only be 970 sq ft...or 70-80,o00 words max. So, what if it's over that? We have to dejunk and get rid of the unnecessary. Even if our manuscript isn't that long, each word needs to be there for a reason. Each scene needs to be completely essential to moving the plot along.

And if it doesn't, that's where the reader will wade through slowly and get stuck. Just like a cluttered area in a house. 

Cut the clutter. Get rid of the junk. Create a space that is easy to walk (read) through and will be enjoyable :)

Do you have a hard time cutting the junk during revisions?


  1. Ohhhh I am glad to find this post. I'm trying to cut 10K out of an MS that is pretty far along in revision and therefore, honestly, pretty tight already.

    If I do this by deleting whole scenes (which seems like it might be the only way to cut out THAT much), I'm going to have to look at things that REALLY don't seem like junk, and stare at them really hard, and figure out if I can transfer their usefulness to another place. I think, however, that I can cut down on the extremities of each scene--make them start later and end earlier... At least that's the battle plan for now.

    Also, we have some writerly/readerly T-shirts and a classic novel up for grabs in our our 100 follower giveaway if you're interested!

  2. Nice comparison Michelle. I think you do well at "decluttering" your writing.

  3. I sometimes need help identifying the clutter in my stories. I'b glad I have readers to tell me.

  4. Very cool post. I cut 40,000 words from my book, so I know it's possible to unclutter A LOT. Then it always seems like, if I look, I can find more stuff that really doesn't need to be there.

    Don't get me started on my house.... :)

  5. You don’t have to throw them away. Have you tried renting out a storage space? If you feel that you may still need something, or if a lot of your stuff holds sentimental value, but you don’t really have the space for it in your home, you can keep it at an off-site storage space - at least for the time being or until you come to realize that you don’t really need it that much.

    Max Champion


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