As part of setting up my WordPress blog, I came up with some Categories I thought would be relevant for my posts. Among these is “Experimental.” I meant that to apply to vignettes, sketches, little chapter-length or shorter exercises I’d be newly writing to try out ideas and methods.
Well, I kind of think the last ten chapters of my novel Free Souls should have been categorized as “Experimental,” too. For awhile I was very enthusiastic about giving my heroine a fuller back story. But as the word count mounts up, I find it’s taken me (and any readers that might trip over this blog and stick around to read) well away from the main action. This post on “The Seven Deadly Sins for Novel Writers: Sin #7: TMI (Too Much Information)” from the blog Writers Helping Writers has made me step back and say, “Oh-oh!”
But what am I supposed to do? Just give a quick list of her past unsatisfactory relationships? Boring! And yes, I admit it, I like some (some, not all) of the flashback scenes I’ve written. A lot. Yes, I know that’s irrelevant if they mess up the book as a whole. It may be my duty to be ruthless and cut, cut, cut. On the other hand, some past events I’ve given my MC will turn out to be important later, so maybe is it good to show, not tell, the reader what happened then?
I don’t know the answers to these questions now. So I’ll keep these chapters in for the time being. But maybe “experimental” is how they should be categorized.
And I still have more of her relational history to relay. But until I decide how to go about it, I won’t be posting any more of the story. Why should I take the time to write a lot of verbiage I may well cut out later? Especially with so much else to take care of this time of year.