I’ve always said that with each draft of every script I work on, my writing gets a little bit better. Definitely a “learn as you go” scenario.
If you looked at my earlier work, you’d probably say it was pretty basic. Very straightforward. Average. With the later stuff, you’d see improvement. Better, but still some room to grow.
Among the helpful comments I received regarding the previous draft of my western was “give us more flair in the prose…make the details a bit more colorful.”
This can be a trap a lot of writers fall into. You want your writing to be vivid and descriptive, but it’s easy to overdo it and before you know it, the storytelling overshadows your actual story.
Since I started the rewrite, I’ve been doing my best to maintain an equal balance of both so the story is told in an entertaining way and easy for a reader to visualize what’s happening. If they feel like they’re actually there, experiencing it along with the characters, then I’m doing a good job.
Working on an action sequence earlier this week, I was struggling to come up with the best way to describe the events as they played out. Ordinary words weren’t cutting it, and the ever-present thesaurus wasn’t offering much help either. I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn’t come up with the right way to say it.
You can describe how something happens, but is it strong enough to hold somebody’s attention? Is there a “more colorful” way to say it? How could you add “more flair”?
If I were reading this, what would make me want to keep going? What would compel me to want to know what happens next?
Since this is, at its heart, my take on a pulp story, I decided to embrace that aspect and run with it. I mean really run. Let loose and color those words in the perfect shade of purple.
To say it made a difference is putting it mildly.
Words and descriptions that refused to make themselves known before were sprouting up left and right. This was exactly how I imagined the sequence and exactly how it should be written.
A key point to remember in all of this is that this is what works for me. Your writing and your style are totally your own, and only you can find the best way to do it.
I won’t say that everything from here on in for me will be as easy or productive, but it’s definitely a change for the better, and I for one am looking forward to seeing the end result.