Rich Ritter - The New Voice of the American West

How to Write the Great American Novel: Step 4

If you take a critical look at your writing style, you may discover that you often provide more details than necessary to adequately describe a character, action, or scene. I have also succumbed to this fault. Nonetheless, you will have a better chance to achieve this step If you always remember that your primary goal is to tell a good story to the reader: nothing more, nothing less.

Learn to discern essence. Accurate details are important, but a long narrative of endless details does not make for a good story. Instead, discern the fundamental essence of your point and use a few punchy details to reinforce it. If you are writing of a galloping horse, don’t use thousands of words to describe the twitch of each muscle and thereby bore the reader to tears. Instead, discern the essence of a galloping horse as you see it, and choose the details necessary to make this essence come alive in the reader’s mind.


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