Back when I first started writing, I spent a fair amount of time looking through ‘how to write’ books (most useful for me being Sol Stein’s “On Writing”). Lately, while I’ve been happy with my stories on a word by word level, I haven’t been as thrilled with the bigger structure of the stories. So I decided it was time to have another look at some of the technique books to see if I can glean new insights from them now that I’ve had a bit more practical experience.
My focus-of-the-moment is to look for ways to make the words work harder. To have descriptions that are more than pretty fluff but that also advance the plot and/or reveal something about a character. I’ve been feeling, lately, that my stories are too much style-over-substance. I’d like them to have both style and substance. Thus the return to the basics.