Welcome to The Big Reveal
I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them.
Do you tend to over-write or under-write?
Mindi Scott, Published Author
I under-write. Extremely underwrite! Sometimes I’ll use brackets [insert clever scene here] when I’m too overwhelmed to deal with what should be in that place in the draft. I think my first draft of Live Through This was only around 30,000 words. It more than doubled by the time I was done revising it.
Steph Campbell, Published Author
I way under write. I get the bare bones story down and then go back and plump it up in edits, but I still feel like I write shorter books than a lot of other authors I know.
Christa Desir, Pre-Published Author
I underwrite, always. I laugh and say I am writing a 20k outline. I write the bones and then fill in. It keeps me from having saggy middles. But there are problems with that method also, including having no setting to speak of 🙂
Dahlia Adler, Agented Author
Underwrite, for sure. I don’t ever remember cutting from a novel during revisions, only adding. I’m up to 4K more in my current ms than when I sent out my first draft to a CP, and the ms that got me my agent got an extra 10K during revisions!
Jenny Morris, Agented Author
I think I under-write. Especially internal. I’m always adding a lot of that in revisions. But I think I over-write my beginnings. I almost always have to cut a lot there.
Lynne Schmidt, Un-Agented Author
I think I underwrite. I usually set my goal at 60,000 words…and then bulk up from there. But then I bulk up too much, and have to cut A LOT. I’ve cut entire chapters, entire characters. I’ve also had to add in characters because the story didn’t make sense without them.
Theresa Paulo, Agented Author
Hmm.. Good question… I guess I’d say when it comes to back story I overwrite and wind up cutting most of it. However when it comes to description, my first drafts tend to be under written and I need to really amp it up. The most I ever cut was probably from my latest Rewrite, I cut most of the first chapter 11 pages. It was hard, it hurt, but my story is so much better because of it.
Are you an over or under-writer?