Excess words are good words

I had another good conversation tonight with another writer friend and we got talking about plotting and revising as you write and it occurred to me: writing is writing.

Sounds like a “duh” but sometimes we get so caught up in writing to add to our word count, that we forget to write to discover too.

Sometimes you need to write or even rewrite a scene from another character’s POV (Point of View) to see if you want to incorporate their point of view. It can be a good practice even if you have no intention of using that character’s POV (sorry, chum). By going through the exercise, sometimes you can learn more about that character, about the main character, or about the situation they’re in.

I did that once: I was debating about adding another character’s POV to my novel so I rewrote a scene from their POV, using third person to distinguish from my MC’s first person POV.

It sucked.

Well I shouldn’t say it sucked, so much as he sucked. He turned out to be a bit of an asshole. Now he is a teenager, one who’s very full of himself, but I realized from writing that scene that adding his POV wouldn’t add to the story.

Still, I wouldn’t say that writing it was a waste: I got insight into him, and I unexpectedly got insight into both what my MC looked like from outside herself, and into what else was going on in the scene.

Another thing I tried was to rewrite some of my scenes from my MC’s perspective, but in the third person, instead of first. By doing so, I learned definitively that the third person didn’t work for telling her story. Her story is better served with the immediacy and intimacy of the first person.

Don’t be afraid to play with your words – or to waste them. It doesn’t always have to be about adding to your word count. Rewrite scenes from other angles, brainstorm, web – use words in as many ways as you can and have fun learning more about your characters, their stories, and their world.

Tonight’s word count: 213 words and my main character just got in deep shit with her grandmother…

Nite, all.

About thewritingblues

I'm a writer working on a YA dystopian novel and blogging on my progress - or lack thereof - and other cool writing stuff.
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