Writing Tight

Tracy Dunham

Writing tight - it's a subject I've been thinking about for a while. I love to wander down the emotional highway of my characters, but there comes that moment when all that lovely introspection has to bite the dust if it's sticking the story to the road like illegal glue on Reed Sorenson's tires. I like storie's to race along - pages flipping as fast as you can read them - and sometimes, the pretty character flowers I plant around the borders (don't you love all these mixed metaphors?) just don't work. What's the right balance between character and story? I'm still juggling, although I confess I'm pretty much a character-driven story gal. For example, I remember Dick Francis heroes like I do the weight and length of my children when they were born. The exact hours, minutes, and seconds of labor. Dick Francis writes heroes like no one else. I may remember the barest details about the plot, but Kit Fielding? He's in my head forever.

Right now, I'm pretty much in the character-rules corner. Still and all, the plot has to be there, and the characters had better be part of the plot, or all I'd have is pages filled with people with nowhere to go, no story to live.

Living stories. I like that idea. If I can write a story that lives, I'll be happy.