As a chronic under-writer (not to be confused with an ‘underwriter,’ which sounds much more complicated and outside the scope of my abilities) I’ve always struggled to hit word counts. From 500 word essays in school to NaNoWriMo’s famous 50k finish line to the industry standard of 70k I always fall short. As a result, I’m constantly on the lookout for shortcuts (longcuts?) to stretch my stories without being accused of fluff.
So far I’ve struggled with to find a trick that works, except the classic ‘add a subplot.’ But even with a subplot, you’ve seen my word counts. They’re less-than-impressive.
Recently I was reading some early twentieth century novels (as one does) and I think I’ve finally stumbled upon a trick I might be able to use.
In the novels, I noticed that people used the word “it” with far less frequency than I or my friends do. For example:
“What is it?”
“What is the matter?”
“I’m just over it.”
“I’m over giving into his every whim.”
Not only does it add to my word count, it makes the topic of conversation much more explicit so readers don’t have to infer so much. (Although in murder mysteries that could be useful for misdirection. But in general, I think more clarity is good.) Ingenious, right?
So there you have ‘it!’ During my multitudinous rewrites, I’m going to be keeping an eye out for anywhere I can be more explicit with my writing. Here’s hoping that nets me a few thousand more good words!
Anyone else have a clever tip or trick? How do you over-writers manage to be so loquacious? Do you think we could share our talents and balance out? Let me know!
P.S. My manuscript is currently undergoing rewrites! Wish me luck!