Get Rid of Ugly Wordiness!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Diana, Oct 8, 2009.

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  1. Get Rid of Ugly Wordiness: How to Cut Down Your Novel was a really interesting article!

    I thought it was useful not just for novel writing, but for roleplay posts as well. Sometimes longer posts don't mean better posts. Extra unnecessary prose can be a real chore to read through, especially during a roleplay with several people. How often do you skin over the really long posts because you don't want to read through unimportant content? (Don't lie! We all do it!)

    P.S. This does not mean one liners are vague posts are cool. >:[ That's totally a different topic. >:D
  2. Amazing, I definitely will put ICSYL to the chopping block on this one. Weavel and I agree there are a few scenes in there we could cut all together.
  3. I initially followed my intuition and subconscious memories of what appealed to me in others' writing, and this served me pretty well. Then I got all the internet-writer wisdom about length and I was well on my way to getting pretty bad, though I still liked to try to make it entertaining for as much of the duration as I could.

    Then Razilin and Paorou brought the benefits of being succinct to my attention. Looking back, Paorou made decent-to-good posts yet people gave him crap about not having enough filler. Razilin brought this into the open, questioning length. I thought about it and came to agree. Though not bad in and of itself, length remains generally overrated on the net.

    I try really hard not to skim as a show of respect and because sometimes unfortunately important information is buried in one of the bad lengthy posts. Consequently, yes, some RPs go from fun to painful depending on who's writing and why.

    A book I once read said something to the effect that a one minute summary can be way too long if the audience isn't connecting with it while a thirty-minute story can be too short if the audience is. Length should be guided by purpose.

    Hence why I don't mind Asmo's lengthy posts. It's easy to keep reading because they aren't written with length as the end goal.

    It's also why I rebelled against length minimums even though a lot of my roleplay posts incidentally meet them easily.

    My OOC talk is long because that's simply how I think, and when I try too hard to be more tacit, IRL or online, my few words lose almost any reflection of my personality.
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  4. Coffeekins makes great points! <3 Those have always been my own issues with typing posties.

    I am not a "long post" person. I tend to get to the point, focusing on how my character perceives the scene rather than tons of little details. And I've had people complain at me saying "I know you can do better. >:[" because I didn't write five pages of filler. o___o

    And of course, there's occasions where you need those long posts, Asmo's are a good example! He's usually the Game Master and as the Game Master you're adding in a lot of scenery and atmosphere to the thread.

    So yes, yes... it's always a matter of necessity... >:D
  5. Indeed! I've been places on the internet where length is the only indication of literacy. There is a global mod who got her position through her apparent 'mastery' of writing and yet her posts are a lot of fluff with a two sentence summary. One must be careful in verbosity lest they lose the point of the writing to the words themselves.

    Sure it sounds impressive if you can wave around huge and unwieldy adjectives, but as I have found...they only detract from the overall message and can sometimes give an illusion of more intelligence then is really there.

    As a chronic sufferer of verbosity, these are the discoveries I've made. Be terse...but not so short as to lose the beauty of what you're saying. Writing is the art of putting vision on pages...when you look at a person, do you REALLY spend five minutes obsessing about the shape and direction their hair moves at the briefest of breezes?

    Bears some thinking about.
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  6. Hmm this talk of post structure has me thinking about how I do my own. In essence I think of each of my posts as its own story. I want a beginning, climax, and conclusion. Sometimes that conclusion is a cliff hanger as to what is happening.

    As far as a beginning goes that is normally me trying to respond to the events that have happened. I hear/see/feel/touch/taste the events then move onto what I was planning on doing.

    What I was planning on doing is the bits in the middle and the climax. As any story goes the middle builds up to the climax. I find that using a small but effective kind of action is a nice one. The climax is also the point in the post where I have things people can react to. Like for instance in my last Project Genesis post I had the ice cover the wall to the hangar.

    Moving onto the final piece the conclusion usually is my character's question or me handing the battle torch over to someone else. I've seen in my own work I do a lot of cliff hanger stuff for posts. Like the explosion went off but I do not show results. The answer to it becomes the next beginning bit of my next post setting me up quite nicely.

    In the end the post I make can be anywhere from a paragraph to three paragraphs long. When writing I tend to try to make basic explanations but give people the play by play especially when it comes down to fights.

    As you can see when I'm replying to just regular old posts it is my train of thought. I keep thinking up stuff until I eventually have nothing else to say. So that is my process in making posts and deciding length.
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  7. Thanks, Di!

    Sometimes. I like people-watching when I can act naturally enough to get away with it. >_>

    And if I avert my gaze to keep from freaking them out, it only gets worse as I try to memorize their features from a single glance. Terrible. Terrible.

    And I remember once at a restaurant, this guy walked into the very edge of my peripheral vision,from outside, while I was rambling to a friend. I lost my train of thought and jerked my head in his direction to watch him walk, and told my friend about it.

    What was odd was that there are many who would say this guy was a bit dumpy looking in basic physical terms, but it was the way he walked that got to me. I am still trying to figure it out. I wish I could have recorded it to study, assuming the camera wouldn't explode or something. But there was something strange about the way he walked. I've seen people "radiate confidence" before but this was something else. He was moving with a sort of casual purpose, not hurried, but not slow. He wasn't even looking in our direction, yet he felt intimidating in a way. If the feeling of staring down some supernatural creature in one's nightmares could be distilled into something neutral and pure, that might describe it. Watching him made something in my mind scream "THAT GUY KNOWS SOMETHING!" I wasn't sure what that "something" was, but for sanity's sake my friend and I concluded he was probably a secret martial arts master and we'd just missed our chance to learn to balance tip-toed on treetops and other cool stuff. Or he could have been an angel in disguise, considering Bibilical descriptions of people to falling down in awe at their mere presence.


    *Realizes he's wandering into Asmo's "chaotic" assessment.*

    But I get what you mean, Jack. Everyone and everything doesn't have that effect. I also think it depends on the writer's style and personality and the intended mood of what they're writing.
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