Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hulk crush

I've been struggling with writing a query letter for THE TURNING AWAY. How do you compress five characters, their fears and triumphs, the petty arguments of childhood, a languid Tidewater river, hope and despair and courage, a garage-built raft, rain and mist and sunshine, all of it into 50 words? Apart from the previous sentence, that is. Oh yes, and the epic battle between good and evil. That's in there, too.

Tighten! Condense! Tighter. Denser. Pare down. Find the bones of the story and throw away the useless ones. All those in your wrist? Superflous. Toes and ankles and even legs: probably don't need 'em. Just bones.

Tighter. Tighter. Dense good. Seth write tight prose. Seth succeed. Remove unnecessary words. Seth happy. Seth edit more tonight. Seth wonder why more books not written tight like this. Seth furrow brow.

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