Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Short vs long

I'm one of these people who can set out to write something short, but still end up with something way over the word limit for that "short" descriptor.

I admit that I never had that problem with essays set as homework. Then, I tended to have trouble getting them up to the word count. Writing stories for English, though, or writing something for a competition… Inevitably, I'd have to take the editing scissors to my work before it could be handed in.

I think this is why writing novels appeals. OK, so no one wants a 250,000 word opus, so I can't get carried away when writing, but I do get to explore the story without worrying about the word count.

On the other side of the coin, "short" reins in my tendency to over-write, and makes sure I squeeze every last ounce of meaning out of every word.

Which format do you like writing best? Short or long? And which do you prefer to read?


Anonymous said...

The only short writing I can do is if I'm making a list. I suppose I have a problem with brevity (you're welcome, ladies). I think I prefer full books to read. I'm all about more detail.

Anonymous said...

I like you find longer pieces are easier... shorter is much more difficult...

AmieSalmon said...

I am quite fond of both, but I admit I do find it hard writing to a restriction. Me and my essays at the moment are not getting along.

C D Meetens said...

Joshua: Ditto on the list :). Even my letters or emails to friends are long!

T F: I'm sure there was a quote about, "Sorry this letter is so long, I didn't have time to write a short one", and I think that's so true. It's easier to just write, and takes more time to go back and edit to make something brief.

Amie: I never got along with essays, and I don't think I can blame it on the word count ;).

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Short suits me -- picture books and verse novels, where I can really concentrate on language, imagery, and word play.

Thanks for the follow!

Bish Denham said...

I wrote short long before I ever wrote long. It seems to fit my personality. Even now, writing long can be difficult for me. I have never gone over 50K. Most stuff is 20K to 30K. So even when writing long, I write short. :D

C D Meetens said...

Caroline: I'm in awe! I think I'd be useless writing a picture book. No doubt it would come out far too long.

Bish: I think it's great that you can get a meaning across in fewer words to start with. I'm forever editing things out afterwards.

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