Bloat – something no writer can afford

One of the hallmarks of being a pantster is that we like to be surprised – by the plot, and our own characters. We love the sense of excitement, and adventure, that comes from not knowing what’s around the next bend.

Sadly, not all surprises are pleasant. One of the big drawbacks of being a free-wheeling, I-don’t-know-what-happens-next type of writer is that we often write ourselves into a corner, or so far off track that the original story becomes lost. Or sometimes <<shock horror>> we just end up with …bloat.

<<A bloated carcass puffs up to many times its original size, and stinks>>

The trouble with written bloat, however, is that it doesn’t always stink. In fact, it may sometimes smell of Hemingway, or at least Stephen King.

“But hang on!” you say. “How can something that smells good be bad?”

Context, my friend, context.

If I’m writing a murder mystery and suddenly start waffling on about the meaning of life, death and the universe, I’ve stopped the original story in its tracks. And that’s bad because you can’t marry the front end of a chicken to the hind end of a horse and still expect to get eggs….

You can find the complete article by yours truly on Indies Unlimited :

Due to the pressure of paying bills, I’ve had to pare back some of my creative commitments, so this will be my last article for a while. However if you’re interested in the craft of writing, Indies Unlimited always has great articles on offer. 🙂



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

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