Dirty Work and Writing Short

A couple of weeks ago I talked about what I call "Doing the Dirty Work". In an attempt to make sure that I had the best grip on this book that I realized that I needed to be as organized as possible. It would be the only way to keep it all in line. I have two projects going right now, both have their own level of complications. The first is a short mystery that requires me to use the smallest amount of words to the best advantage and still be able to leave as much mystery as possible. Not an easy task. Just watching the word count alone is enough to scare the crud out of me. But I learned a few valuable lessons while working on his project...

1. The KISS analogy does apply. Simple is better. I usually add a paranormal element to my stories, but in this case I found that the word count didn't really allow for it. Ditto for including extraneous information on processes or background.
2. Isolate your characters. Agatha had it right when she put them all on a deserted island together. Less change of venue means less words new areas to describe.
3. Start with the crime. I figured this one out right away. Save yourself some headaches and start off with the dirty deed. All those lovely bits can be just as easily distributed throughout the story.
4. Kill your darlings... Write out the whole thing and then be ruthless in your editing. It's the only way to save your sanity and still get the words on the page.

All in all, I know that I will get this done. As long as I write a story that entertains myself I'm sure to find those that will enjoy it.

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