All of last week’s posts were written on my Kindle Touch. I was riding in the back seat of a car with little else to do but read and write. The text editor I use is limited to 3099 characters or maybe around 500 words. I am a “prolific” writer usually, churning out 1-2K without much trouble.
On the Touch it’s different story. Between hunting and pecking and the need to correct mistakes as I go, I find that I write not only slower but more succinctly. And, strange to relate, I think this is actually a good exercise, one that more of us should try.
I’m constantly analyzing my stats, as most bloggers are prone to do, and shorter posts seem to generate more views. I don’t know if this is because they are tighter and more polished, or if people just don’t have time to look at a more drawn out argument.
I like doing projects like NaNoWriMo, or the 3 day novel labor day challenge (maybe next year). Still, my first draft of my latest novel is almost 200K long and I’d like to cut it down to 125K. That’s like cutting a novel out of a novel.
Poetry is all about writing within constraints, whether it be sonnets or haiku. But prose, fictional or otherwise also benefits from deliberate word choice, structure and brevity.
What ways have you tried to tighten your prose?
PS: This post was also written on the Touch. Longer car ride than I thought!