Monday, March 14, 2011

Expanding and Contracting

With the earth doing it's own thing, it seems only fitting that I should be stuck with challenges, too.

If you remember, I sent two chapters of my MS to my editor. She sent it back with hardly a revision. It felt great to again accomplish such a feat. So few red marks, I had to search for them. *g*

I had also sent the chapters to my writers group. We met on Saturday and the comments were many. There were two folk who decided they were confused by a scene. Well - two is enough to seriously consider revision. So I'll take their confusion and turn it into smooth sailing.

Otherwise, I was told the scenes were not expanded enough. Now, you know I've been going back and looking at each chapter, after that wonderful workshop I went to, and have 'blown up' a few parts. These were not part of that.

I have a tendency to keep action at the forefront. I don't like to give too much description. I am writing about a castle. Two people wanted more description of the castle. Now, one said she loves castles and likes to imagine them, what they're like and such.

A castle is a castle. You see one, you see them all. I have put down that it is very large, that the throne room is nice, but sparse, and that the dining hall is huge. Enough for 1000 squires to eat in. I have given some description as to the hero/heroine's quarters. What more can you want?

Personally, I don't like travelogue-type books. I like action books. I give enough detail that we can see that the grass is blue and the sky is green.

I struggled with the expanding / contracting argument and find that I am still new to this writing business. I go with my gut - and my gut says, a castle is a castle.

They also want more detail on the new characters who have joined us. I did give a wee bit, and plan to do more. But not yet.

I will, of course, re-read the chapters and see exactly what they might need without making this a book entitled, Castles I Have Known.

Life is good - no matter what.


  1. Sometimes the desire on the part of readers for more detail is a personal preference and it doesn't need to be catered to at the expense of the book. If lots of people comment that they need more description, then maybe you should reconsider. Otherwise, if the description of the castle isn't key to the plot, then it might not be necessary to expand on it.

    On the other hand, the author has the advantage over the readers of having imagined the whole scene and what's coming next -- so we see things more clearly than the readers do, and sometimes they really do need those extra descriptions that we think aren't necessary, in order to picture it in the way it is meant to be pictured.

    It's a hard line to see between giving your readers what they want (or need) and writing in your own style and according to your preference.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Where the castles fortress in nature? Did they have turrets?

    At one end of the throne room, there was a hearth as tall as a man. Tapestries covered the walls. There were no chairs for anyone but the king's throne, which was intricately carved and draped in red velvet pillows.

    The squires dining hall was strewn with straw, and so large one could hear a faint echo. Benches ran the length of dozens of tables that filled the room.

    Just some ideas. :-)

  3. I don't even have any idea what the castle proper looks like - I haven't imagined it - I don't need it - It's a castle - probably has turrets... but he's not gonna be in them.

    He's a squire in training - that's the important part and his meeting 'boy' friends and getting along with them - surviving new relationships, teachers and such.

    The training yard is more important than the castle. He'll be there almost his entire time.

    It's the relationships. He was a girl... now he's a boy. How does he deal?