It’s Thursday! Run for the hills! You can never hope to escape the Fires of Inspiration, the Fleeting Muse, the Wave of Desperate Hurry. But you can damn sure try.
It’s time for another Weekly Motivational!
Given that I am writing a thousand words a day at a minimum, I can find myself hurrying along, writing the same or similar words over and over again in short succession. I talked a bit about the power of repetition a couple weeks back, so now I’m tackling a related topic: Using Imprecise Language Creates Imprecise Emotions.
Or as I like to call it, The Sometimes Anytime.
Basically what I mean by this is that when I’m in a hurry, or I’m feeling particularly inspired, I start to use common words and phrases where a slightly better, more precise word could shorten the sentence overall. I don’t notice it when I’m in the groove or pressed for time, but I sure notice it later.
A jumbled mess of imprecision when using lots of prepositions, pronouns, or adverbs (in the case of “sometimes”) can lead to boredom on the part of the reader. You aren’t engaging the reader with language when you are writing with imprecision.
You should write with clarity, direction, purpose. Write with verve and abandon, but write with a goal in mind, and use decisive language to get you there.
If you are known to sometimes speak imprecisely, you are prone to speak it anytime.
Your words are guiding the reader on not just a plot, but on an emotional ride with peaks and valleys and everything in between. If you cannot commit to those emotions, the reader cannot connect to those emotions.
So when I am writing, and I realize that I am slipping into the Sometimes Anytime paradigm, I take a step back and organize my thoughts. I rework the scene I am in the middle of if I have to. I do not make cuts. I never make cuts in the first draft. But I note where I will make cuts later. I reinforce the precision of language as I move forward, so that what the characters are experiencing can be felt by the reader. They know how it feels because the characters experience it.
Sometimes you just have to find a better way to write. If you can do it sometimes, you can do it anytime.
So get out of here, Daydreamers, and anytime you can, write the hell on!