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?
I want to say I under-write, but actually, my last three drafts have been pretty long…maybe somewhere in the middle. My first four novels were all around 50K, and the next three closer to 100K. The most I’ve added is 14K from first draft to query ready, and the most I’ve cut is only 10K. Maybe this means I’m learning how to draft better stories? One can hope!
Under write. My first time through a draft, I’ll skip over entire scenes if I don’t feel like writing them. I write what I’m excited about and then come back and fill in the cracks.
My first drafts tend to be right in range for my target audience. But that’s tricky businesses because I still have to add and take away stuff in editing keeping it close to the same size.
I’m a minimalist. I write lean on a first draft, fattening it up with details and the like in later drafts. If I’ve got a deadline, chances are there won’t be much trimming, mostly just adding. If I’m writing for fun, there may have to be some culling in the end.
I tend to under write. My manuscripts are always light when I get done with them and I have to add to them.
I tend to over-write my flash fiction, then need to cut to find the heart of the story. I usually under-write my novels – I form the bones, the skeleton, then go back in and add muscle, flesh everything out.
Are you an over-writer or an under-writer?