Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Dear Writer: Lots of Words or Few, Which Is Right?

I’ll cheat and answer the question before you read the post—neither is “right”, it “Depends” :-)

Certainly, certain writers use too many words and others scrimp but Simple or Ornate is a decision that the Writing Itself decides.

The Writing decides?

It’s all about being in the “Zone” or “Flow” or following the Muse’s guidance

Sure, you can look back, revise, get feedback, put it away for a year, whatever; but, when you first approach the work, let IT decide.

Now to get a bit more rational :-)

There’s a woman in my G+ Circles named Victoria Grefer and she has a blog with a Great name: Creative Writing with the Crimson League.

She has two blog posts that consider the long and short of it and it’s easy to see which kind of writer she considers herself to be

I’ll link to both and give you a few excerpts from each (But, do take the links and read the full posts):

Bloggers, Authors: the benefits of simple style and simple structure in your writing

“Grammar-wise, it’s simpler. There is less room for error as far as grammar and punctuation are concerned when your write simply

“Less room for misinterpretation and confusion….I like how my simple sentences lend themselves with little toil on my part to clarity.

“My third person narrator doesn’t draw attention away from the characters….Thanks to plain sentences, the structure of my narration doesn’t lend itself to remarks or contemplations.

“I can write a first draft of a paragraph without worrying about style….I keep it plain and I keep moving.

I don’t feel pretentious.If I tried to force embellishments, I would feel uncomfortable and pretentious…”

Bloggers, Authors: the benefits of an ornate style and complex structure in your writing

“For you, writing is a bit like painting with words….You take risks with words, and that thrill is what keeps you writing.

“You draw connections between things that writers like me can’t think to….Your metaphors and similes connect objects people wouldn’t normally put together.

“You are able to paint a clear image of your characters and their world for your readers….You…don’t have to worry about how your reader might interpret…You tell them what’s there.

“You see the value in the grunt work of writing. In its foundations….Sentences aren’t building blocks or work for you; they’re a puzzle to fit together.”


Which kind of writer are you?



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