I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript. Yep, you can join in the fun, too. Let’s take a looksee at topic #16
16: Start scenes late and leave them early.
This is something that seems to come naturally to me, but I have seen people struggle with it. This goes the same for “condensing” a dialog to make it appear like a longer conversation, but only giving the key points.
You don’t have to show the whole conversation from “hello” to “goodbye”. It is completely acceptable to “fade out” once the important information has been relayed to the reader so you don’t have to bore them with the dull stuff that doesn’t matter.
The trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t make the reader feel like they have missed out on anything.
This is an art form, and the best way to learn it is to read, and read a lot. While reading, flag the conversations that you really liked, and go back to them when you are done, and look at them out of context.
Why did they work for you? Did the author convey unnecessary “fluff”? Did they get to the point and fade out?
Learn from what others have done, and try to work it into your own writing.
Remember: Only the important info. Take the meat and leave the potatoes behind.
- Pleonasms … (wordznerd.wordpress.com)