Leave It In

May. 8th, 2017 08:30 am
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
[personal profile] foxinthestars
When I was a girl and consumed all manner of Writer's Digest Book Club books on how to write, one of the lessons was that a story should be streamlined.  Like, one passage I can recall was, roughly, "don't cut off your story's head, but do cut out all the fat" (ie, everything that isn’t strictly necessary).

But now as a fanfic writer, my sense is that at least for this audience that's not necessarily right?  Or is less strict?  Like, it is an important skill to know when something's not working or doesn't belong and cut it out --- but if a scene is good and enjoyable on its own, not detrimental to the whole but not really necessary, it seems like fanfic readers in general would rather it be left in where standard Writing Advice would be to cut it out.  Like in fanfic there's more tolerance for rambling and enjoying the sights along the way.

(Or maybe I just want to think this because my WIP is rambling.)

Thoughts?

Date: 2017-05-08 01:48 pm (UTC)
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] branchandroot
I think it has a lot to do with where the story goes and what the ramble is, too. I mean, if this is a story focused on fast-paced fight scenes, then stopping in the middle to talk about how everyone's dressed is still going to sound really off. But if it's a Regency AU, then you totally should stop and talk at /length/ about how everyone's dressed! And if it's an action story, the audience probably still wants /reasons/ for the action so pausing in between for characters to, like, meditate on sunlit water and think about their lives is still good storytelling. And fic usually involves a lot of character study, so anything that shows new elements of the character is usually good.

Date: 2017-05-08 06:05 pm (UTC)
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] staranise
Fanfic is a lot less focused on action, and has fewer length restrictions. It's more open to side-trips, to wallowing, to detail. After all, we're frequently telling and retelling the same story over and over again; we already know the plot, and the padding is the part that makes the story distinct and worthwhile.

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