Brevity is the Soul of Wit

So, as I consider the specter of 50k words–and read blog posts about NaNo and beta the revised version of my friend Stephanie‘s novel that started off as a NaNo–it’s easy to get very excited. But it’s also easy to get scared – I mean, 50,000. Fifty. Thousand.

That’s… a lot of words.

And I’m not usually scared of words – I was that kid who tried to fudge my 3-5 page papers onto just five pages, not to get them up to three!

From 2014-2015, I wrote 150,000 words with a partner over the course of about a year and a half for a novel that didn’t even really have a clear plot yet.

So, clearly, generating words isn’t my problem. And, sadly, word count isn’t the end-all and the be-all of quality.

I’m reading a great example of this right now:

nat-turner-cover

Using hardly any words at all, artist Kyle Baker portrays Nat Turner‘s life and rebellion. When he does use words, he is often quoting from Nat Turner’s own confession, given in 1831 from his jail cell as he awaited execution.

natturnerinside

I’m only about halfway through; it’s both easy and incredibly difficult to read. Oh, it’s quick and easy to understand; but the things it shows are things that, as a human, I would really rather not know about.

Which is why more people really ought to read it.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund offers information for people interested in teaching the book. (LIKE ME!)

2 thoughts on “Brevity is the Soul of Wit

    1. I suppose it’s not really the NUMBER of words so much as the… Hmm. I don’t know. Cohesion? Hahaha. My friend and I who were working on co-writing did 140k and still had very little in the way of, like… plot (How? HOW?). 10 pages a month is still a real struggle for me… especially a month like November, which is always crazy packed, 50k looks very daunting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *