Last month I blogged about a rewrite. It involved the description of Alex, one of my characters, swimming with joy and abandon. I appreciated all the feedback, but agreed with my writing coach, Alida, and other comments that my rewrite was too detailed.
Describing a feeling is a balance between too little and too much information. Too little inhibits the readers’ ability to place themselves into the scene. Too much slows down the pace and causes the reader to be pulled out of the story. Especially in action, thriller genres like my trilogy. A delicate balance needs to be maintained. The art of writing is definitely more difficult than I first assumed.
In another chapter I drafted, Alex goes back into the water to surf. Alida challenged me again. She wanted me to describe what surfing feels like. Wow! How can I do that since I have never surfed in my life? I was instructed to talk to surfers. Again, I am amazed by how much people are willing to help. In several cases I have gone directly to surfers. In others I have found surfing websites and “chat” sites that gave me insights into what it is like to surf. Since I am located in the middle of the country (in the land of 10,000 lakes but not near an ocean), I was astounded at the resources available in our “online” society. Writers in the past did not have the luxury of sitting at their desks and accessing a plethora of information.
I continue to evolve as a writer and so does my trilogy. The process or journey has definitely been enlightening and worth the effort.