Communicating, not illustrating

Communicate don't illustrate

Browsing through Instagram from my new account, the other day, I came across a book that was being promoted by its publishing company. I went to Goodreads and the reviews were not as positive as the heavily promoted ones suggested. There was a lot of scorn for frilly and overdone writing and descriptions that didn’t seem to have a point.

I quickly took the book off my TBR pile.

It got me thinking about what the point of having this pretty language that did not progress the story was and why were these books getting such heavy promotion.

Traditional publishers spend a lot of money on new books and they have the contacts to get the word out. When you’re a self-published writer, you need to have a great story. You can’t rely on the amount of promotion dedicated to mediocre and terrible writers and a hell of a lot of them get published because they are dressed up in what will sell.

Ignore those for now and work on the writing.

I’m not suggesting that flowery writing doesn’t have a place in literature or a good story; it certainly does. It does however need to achieve two things:

  1. The writing and style must progress the story;
  2. The flowery writing needs to serve a purpose.

So go through your writing and see what your writing style adds to your story. Are there parts that seem irrelevant but you’ve kept them in because they’re pretty and flowery? Then either cut them out or give them a purpose. In this way, all the elements of your style will help you communicate your novel’s purpose.

Don’t just make something pretty; illustrations need to be on the cover, not in the text.

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