Munday – Drabbles

1. Do you go over 100 words, or find your drabbles coming up short more often?

I always tend to write more. The challenge is in the edit so that it fits to that 100 word mark.

2. What do you do to edit when you’re over/under where you should be?

I will be more sketchy with my details, delete unnecesssary dialogue and do a lot of implied metaphor. In other words, I do a hatchet job on it or just provide a snippet or snapshot of something larger.

3. Have you learned anything about word choice and economy of words by writing drabbles?

No. That isn’t something that writing drabbles has taught me. When you write for the media, you have to write tight, concise pieces in the inverse pyramid fashion. That has to come with practice and with the editorial demands of the delivery system you are using. Writing for print isn’t like writing a PR piece or a piece for broadcast media and neither of them is like writing for a documentary or a screenplay. There are standards in each of these arenas and so you have to adapt accordingly to what those are. Writing fiction for this comm and on LJ is what I do to unwind. Some people have a cigarette. I write a few paragraphs.

One thing I have learned is that nothing here on LJ is worth stressing over. Save that kind of anxiety for something that writes you a paycheck.

4. About how long does it take you to write a drabble?

That really depends on a number of factors. If the Muse is in the mood and inspired, it can take me ten minutes. If the Musse is reluctant, or if I have a huge number of things on my plate, it may take me several hours or a half a day to get it to where I want it to be.

5. Do you have any secret drabbling tips / hints to share with your fellow drabblers?

Carry a notebook with you at all times, or barriing that, drop keywords into your smartphone to remind you later. Sometimes inspiration can come from something heard on the radio, in an overheard conversation or at any number of places.

Also, think and write cinematically. The drabble is very similar to a Mise-en-scène. You have a single frame and it is that single frame, that snapshot that is visible. The Mise-en-scène is what we see. Editing is what we do not see. So you do not need to include everything. That is a tough lesson to learn for someone like me who likes to either analyse things to death and /or give lots of details in my writing. You still want to convey what is important, but you have to do it with an “economy of style” so as to hit that magic 100 words.

Bonus question:
If you are participating in 100 Drabbles of Summer, how many have you completed so far?

I have just a couple done so far and will post them later today. Lots of deadlines to meet, and fortunately has a fairly long one on this assignment. 😉

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