I just moved into a house that is much smaller than the one I had before. As a theory it seemed like a good idea…less house to care for, lower monthly bills, and the ability to spend more time writing as a result. Yep, on paper it was an exemplary plan. But in practice it’s been pure hell. I mean, I write about hell dimensions all the time, but I couldn’t in my wildest imagination come up with a hell quite as terrifying as the hell of trying to squeeze twenty cabinets of kitchen stuff into ten, or squishing a closet full of pills, lotions and toiletries into one, under-the-sink cabinet. Arghhhhhh! Not to mention squeezing 13 dogs into less than half the space!
I have to admit I’ve questioned my decision many…many….many times since the moving truck arrived at my cozy new abode. But things are slowly wedging into place and, as with all things, I decided to try to put the experience to good use. I’m crafting a lesson learned from it. (It was either that or fly screaming into full out, drooling madness!) And, imagine my surprise when I realized the lessons learned in my physical reality could be put to equal use in my creative universe. What could I possibly mean, you ask? Okay, let me try to put it in the simplest terms possible.
Basically, it’s a blog post versus a mini-series.
In a blog post, you know you have to keep to a certain number of words because, let’s face it, today’s online reader is a busy, impatient creature. If your post is longer than, say, 500 words, you’re gonna start losing readers. At 700 words they’re dropping like flies, and at 900 your readership looks like the aftermath of a nuclear accident. There’s nobody left standing. #:0) So you need to write in succinct, clear sentences. Every word must carry its own weight, each paragraph has a distinct task. There are no extra cabinets to stuff excessive words into and not a spare closet in sight to fill with extraneous detail. After you have a draft you must purge and purge and purge again until your place in the sun or bit of prose is tighter than prissy Aunt Fanny’s ass at a porn convention. And then you might have something worth reading.
Of course, if you’re writing that mini-series you can stretch your creative legs a little. You have cabinets and closets galore. But most of us aren’t that lucky. And to tell you the truth, cozy is good. Cozy is…well cozy. #:0) In fact, I’d venture to say that cozy is the new blockbuster.
Happy reading slash writing everybody!