September 24, 2019

Do You Drag Your Reader?

By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine   

Have you had the opportunity to be in a group, and one person starts talking and talking and talking, and you just keep saying to yourself, “Lady, get to the point?” Last night I experienced this. It isn’t easy sometimes to be patient.

Believe it or not, there are writers who write just like this. They just go on and on and on and the reader finally either closes the book or skips ahead a page or two, maybe more.
Ask that author what tight writing is, and they are clueless.

To me, tight writing is getting to the point without having to go around the world and drag the readers through every nook and cranny. Tight writing is moving the story along while keeping your readers turning the pages.

I like what Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”
Reading a lot of books, I confess there are pages I skip over in books where the authors do not write tight. I am sure you’ve read books by an author or two who did not write tight.

The best advice I read on writing tight was from Dr. Seuss, “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

That says it all!

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