Monday, March 11, 2013

On floating through words

It's funny how pieces of advice stick with you. I read the following a few nights ago and it's been on my mind since:
While I like poetic and/or complicated language, too much of it can drag a story down and I want a story where the reader can float through the words, emerging changed from that immersion.
From Cat Rambo, in a June 2009 Clarkesworld article about what editors of short fiction markets want to see in submissions.

Perhaps it's the lovely image of a reader floating through a story that made the passage stick, or maybe my mind is wired to think anything written in italics is automatically important. Either way, I've been editing my sentences with the above in mind, and it really helps as a guiding principle. Wherever language gets in the way, it's got to go. Language is in service of the story's immersion. Where the story is overwritten, and the language is something like a brick hurled toward my floating reader, a rewrite is in order.

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