A little raw. A little unhinged. A little squeaky wheel.
Every editor I have ever worked with has told me the same thing – to expound more on different subjects within my writing. Mostly that’s true of every writer, not including the wordy, long-winded, elaborate storytellers out there. Typically, writers are in their heads so much, they forget that their readers don’t know what they are talking about. They write under the assumption everybody already knows the key details of a story, such as the background, the world-building, or the character’s history.
So editors come in and cue us when something doesn’t add up. They offer crucial insight and ask the questions every reader asks.
Growing up, I was a publicly loud-mouthed child, which my blessed mother curbed quickly. However, all the women in my family are loud. They talk over each other. They interrupt when they feel they have something more important to say. Since I was the only one curbed, I learned to be patient, kind, and attentive. I stopped to let others speak. I listened through the full story. I did not interrupt.
Do you know how rude it is to interrupt and how frustrating it is to be interrupted? If people would listen half as well as they spoke, there would be far less hurt feelings and confusion. That’s a soap box for another time, but my point is clear:
STOP. LISTEN. SPEAK.
In that order.
I am mostly patient when someone interrupts me. However, if it is a repeated offense, that’s when I bite back, because then I know my conversation partner is not listening to me and does not care what I say. Even if it’s a boring story about someone’s day, at least I have the courtesy to hear it until the end. All I ask is for the same respect to be applied to me.
Often, I write with that same mentality. I’m so used to being interrupted, I tend to speak the quick, exciting, important parts of the story and leave out a lot of detail. Even my thoughts are so curbed to this short-hand route, that I will begin a blog and realize I have nothing to say on the matter. Therein lies my main issue. I’m not superfluous – which is good, I suppose. I get by with what I need. I write only what is necessary.
However, when working with fiction, sometimes people want the extras. They want to linger. They want to spend as many moments in that world as they can, because every reader knows the story will be over all too soon.
So what have I left you with, readers? The rambling complaints of a partial-introvert? An invitation to fill your books with pages and, on the pages, words? A message to listen?
This has been,
Fanny T. Crispin