Saturday, October 10, 2009

Short stuff

I mentioned 350 Words in a previous post. I dug up an old piece, "Vanport: 2050", and republished it on 350 Words as "The New Vanport Flood".

Here's the interesting thing. The original piece was 600+ words. I cut it by almost half, and managed not to lose anything I considered essential. (Except, I see that the 350 Words site seems to have destroyed the paragraph breaks. Oh, well.)

In the intro to the short stoy "The Last Defender of Camelot", (anthologized in a collection by the same title) Roger Zelazny wrote that when he originally wrote the story, the first place he submitted it said they'd take it if he could cut the length by half. He tried taking out every other word, but it made the story sound funny.

I didn't try that. But I did decide to go for a word-by-word cull, rather than, say, chopping out the paragraph about the St. Johns Bridge. It was a fascinating exercise: I'd had no idea there were so many ways you could get rid of the word "the", for instance.

More details Outside Over There.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Dan Gambiera said...

You've done a lot of writing in the last three years. It's only natural you've tightened it up in that time.