I have been writing about short, pithy writing, high on impact, low on fluff. Apparently the best in the business agree with me.
Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggest cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings)…I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: “Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.”
But I have a problem.
Now it was a wait without hope; it availed her nothing to listen to the footfalls, those of the drunks, especially, to the cautious sound of the key in the door, to a scrap of song, to a tune lost in the distance.
Yes, to a tune lost in the distance. Because there had been nights during her seven years of marriage and waiting when Valdinho had come to awaken her with a serenade, with guitar, violin and flute, trumpet and mandolin, repeating that other unforgettable seranade of Ladeira do Alvo, when she had first learned the true nature of her love: poor, without a penny to his name, a petty employee, a chiseler, a deadbeat, a drunk, a libertine, a gambler.
I am seduced by the beauty of the words, by its voluble Latin American charm.
I am lulled, much like the women spellbound by the unbridled passion of the incorrigible charmer Valdinho.
I so wish I could write like this: sometimes I do not want to KISS: Keep it simple, sweet.
I’d much rather be seductive and complicated like Valdinho, and by implication, Jorge Amado.