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Overwriters / Snipewriters

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kimand48 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kimand48 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:29am
This is really helpful, actually. I'm definitely an overwriter, with first drafts from both challenges coming in around 1800 words. I just sit down and write without any planning, and then try to pull out the essentials to get it under. and I think that might seriously be hurting me given the time and word constraints. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve I Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:36am
Originally posted by Rainbowsockmonkey Rainbowsockmonkey wrote:

I helped him trim 1,000 words from his final draft.

Sweet Jesus
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rachelm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:38am
Originally posted by cyberk cyberk wrote:

A first draft of 1,500+ may mean that it's not a word problem but a scope/scale problem. 

This! I learned the hard way in round 1.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:40am
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

I am the sniper. If I go over, I'm going to go over by a LOT and paring is going to be a nightmare, so I keep track of where I am as I go. It also helps me focus on structure-if I realize I've only got 200 words and I'm not even ready to wrap up, I need to rethink. 

Very valuable insight. For me I plan/snipe not just so I don't have unmanageable pruning to do, but to (hopefully) make sure the story is balanced. When I first started writing word-limited stories, I'd find myself just writing along and then go, oh crap! 100 words left, gotta wrap it up. It leaves a very rushed denouement and a top heavy story. 

I have a tendency to get hung up on writing about characters I find amusing and forgetting plot, so a reminder there needs to be a problem or a goal is good--if I'm 750 words in and that's not clear I better wake up! I'm still disappointed a bit with round two because I HAD an ending I wanted to use, but it takes up too much space and it's just not important. If I find a market that wants some lighter short (but not flash) fantasy I will probably put it back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alexis_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:40am
probably an overwriter.

I never really plan. I like to find an idea then start writing to see where it goes. If I like it then I can probably trim it down (I do love scene setting!) and end up with a piece that still works. I quite enjoy the honing process.

I've never gone crazy, only a few hundred words over, never more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Char D Vayle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:49am
Snipewriter for sure. Big smile

Found I'd gone 86 words over on first draft, cut them out, went under, got greedy with leeway and went 17 over again. It felt good to eventually climb off the word see-saw.

What niggled at me most was I had another character I wanted involved in the story, but the word limit kept me bound to the originals.

I try pump a story out in one sitting, but having never written Sci-fi I found myself having to think harder than usual on this one, and I was brain-drained by the end, but oh what a satisfying feeling it is. Akin to a runner's high, I'd say. Good luck to fellow snipewriters, and you busy overwriters, too.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barnabypage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:50am
Originally posted by Zblugg Zblugg wrote:

Which are YOU?

My homebrewed definitions are as follows...

Overwriter: he/she who regurgitates words ALL OVER THE PLACE and then proceeds to clean up the mess to get the whole thing down to a wordcount that wont get them disqualified. Bring a mop.

Snipewriter: he/she who carefully paces the writing process so as to not abuse the counter past 1,000 (give or take a few for title and synopsis), so as to not have to hack the baby's limbs off. So to speak.

So. Where do YOU belong?

Mostly the latter. I'm a journalist by trade (though I hardly write anything these days) and 1000 words is a pretty common length to be aiming for, so I have a good sense of when I'm getting there.

On this last one I think my first draft came in at 1028.

I'm more likely to miss the target with a higher wordcount - for example, to bring a 2500-word story in at 3200, deceived by the sense of space. :) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lenka6 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 11:56am
I'm an overwriter... For a first draft, I let myself flop it all out there (I'm a verbose writer in general), with the knowledge that I can and will cut later. As a result, though, I'm also not very precious about my words - if it's pretty but it doesn't add to the story, I'll be a little sad to cut it, but it gets cut anyhow.

I have, occasionally, found myself under wordcount... In those cases, it's usually just a bad story. Or at least a worse one.

Example: I wrote two this time (I usually do). The one I liked less was the one under word count. Ultimately, I cut 240 words from the over-wordcount story and submitted that one.

I regret nothing on that head.

The most difficult time I've ever had was when I had to cut 490 words, years ago - that was hard because it was a challenge to cut so much while still preserving the story.

Edited by lenka6 - 18 Sep 2018 at 3:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rainbowsockmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by Steve I Steve I wrote:

Originally posted by Rainbowsockmonkey Rainbowsockmonkey wrote:

I helped him trim 1,000 words from his final draft.

Sweet Jesus
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 12:30pm
My first draft is usually 600ish words over. Then my beta readers say "Good god what is wrong with you??" and "Delete these 2 pages because they're not even remotely related to anything!" Then I can think more clearly and focus. (Honestly, my first-line beta savior is much more polite than that.) ;)
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