Mailing list Sign up

Friday, July 5, 2013

Butchism #2. Why do you have people walking through doors...who cares.

Some may realize I am a minimalist writer. The less the better. At least in my fiction. I am also an extremely impatient  reader.
So Butchism #2 is You have people walking through doors. 
 Like most of my Butchism's it has a deeper meaning, and its a flow thing. Its all about flow for me.
Butchism #2 stems from a distaste for transitions.
This might be best explained with an example. 

I parked across the street from the police station, and got out of my car, crossed the street and walked through the large front doors. 
"Could I speak to Detective Franklin," I asked the receptionist.
 Detective Franklin greeted me and we went to an interrogation room where I told him of the murder I witnessed.

How lame was all of that? I wrote it quick, but that's not abnormal stuff I see that has no place in a story. lets try a stripped down version or if you prefer the way I'd write it or boil it down.
I was in an interrogation room telling Detective Franklin of the murder I'd just witnessed.
See that,. right to the point. Some would suggest the first example is just setting the scene. I'd say its delaying the scene. The important information can be portrayed during the scene or can and will be implied.
By skipping right to the meat of the scene you get better flow, and all those setting details are implied. How did the character get to police station (their preferred method of transport probably drove like anyone else Does it matter?). How did the character get inside the police station (walked in through the door like everyone else). How did the character end up in the interrogation room (Taken there by a police officer or the detective, does it matter? nope).
I hope you get my point. Let people figure out for themselves the easy stuff. like how people got from point A to point B.
Transitions are flow killers.
Also try removing all the no duhs from your writing. I opened my car door (no duh) and got in. I turned the water on ( no duh I thought you'd shower without water) and then I took a shower.
You'd be surprised how minimizing transitions and pointless no duh actions can free up your book and create a more fluid enjoyable read.