Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting the Words Right: Revising Your Story With Award-Winning Writer Connie Keller

Short-story writer and Tassy Walden Award winner Connie Keller works to make every word count, especially in descriptions.

AA: What is it about descriptions of settings that makes it tough for them to rise above the mundane?

CK: It's hard to use descriptions of place to build tension (without sounding like a cliché—"it was a dark and stormy night"), characterization or advance the plot. But when it's done right—it's masterful.

AA: How do you edit a scene that's bogging down the story?

CK: I was thinking about the editing process, and it occurred to me that even action can get in the way of plot. Today, I was editing and realized that in the midst of an important plot point, I needed to get my characters from point A to point B. And I did so in the space of two or three sentences. Then I realized the action was really just "stage directions," and that the sentences needed to be combined and cut in order to get my readers back to the plot. The action had gotten in the way.

Also visit Connie at A Merry Heart.

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