Are you an Over Writer?

It isn’t always easy to identify whether you overwrite, so here are a few clues:

Your description language is overblown. Does your narration obliterate any ‘showing’ of your story?

While descriptions are essential to set the scene, they shouldn’t be in a block of narrative.

USE your CHARACTERS to describe the scene.

Are you describing the scene at the right time?

Sometimes, the scene is introduced right at the beginning of the story – and in great detail. A writer must ask themselves, ‘Does the reader really need all of this information right now?’

USE scenery when the ACTION is in that area.

Does the descriptive language reveal something new about the character or plot of the story?

It is crucial to judiciously sprinkle narrative throughout the piece. However, there shouldn’t be any words used that aren’t important or moving the story along.

Does the narrative or description add to the theme of the story?

The theme of the story is the primary point you wish to make with your prose. The descriptive language you use should layer the theme and NOT PREACH. Making the words work takes time and patience.

Lastly, are you in love with the line of description for the RIGHT reasons?

Frequently, we write some descriptive language and find it so pleasing that we do not want to cut it out of the story. However, every single word needs to add to the story or scene – no matter how beautifully written or pleasing it is to you. Perhaps if you add something to it, to give it a function as referenced above.

So, when you work on your editing, keep these things in mind and avoid overwriting.

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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