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All YWSers Should KISS in Moderation

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Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:48 am
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lilymoore says...

The KISS in Moderation Rule

No, I don’t want to slip any of you the tongue, rather I want to touch on a basic idea that I’ve, well, stolen, when it comes to writing. If you’ve never heard of it, KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.

Now, keeping it simple is something I do find to be a key factor to remember when giving information to a reader. If you don't keeps it simple, you will form a habit of just info dumping.

EX: (by the way, this is just a silly made up info dump)

I stood up and looked in the mirror. I have curly red hair and sparkly green eyes. There's a little
mole near my nose, which is sort of small and rather cute. My skin is rather blotchy red from too
much sun and there are a whole bunch of freckles all over my face. I'm rather skinny, like, almost
eating disorder skinny but not quite.

See, this is an info dump. Now, without looking back up, can you remember what color her eyes were? her hair? where her mole is?.....Doubtful. That's because there was too much information given in that single paragraph. By moderating your information output as well as using simple description, you'll be able to make information more easily committed to the reader’s memory as well as not sounding so…bad.

Way’s to KISS:

Adjective Obliteration:
This is actually one of my favorite ways to see if I have or have not KISSed. Read through your document and, using a highlight feature (available on most Microsoft Word programs if I’m not mistaken) and with a very noticeable color, go through the document and highlight all adjectives within the particular section. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the screen and over a forth of your screen has become Orange, Accent 6. With these adjectives now more easily located, you can go back into the document and delete some (but not all) of your adjectives.

Remembering to Moderate:
This is really just a basic reminder. Know what information should be given away and when. This way you don’t start to repeat descriptions or such. A good way to moderate is too keep track of important story-related information on a piece of paper and cross off where each has been used and when.

List, List, List
One problem I see a lot of is the overabundance of listing information within a story.

He picked up the phone, flipped open the lid, scrolled through his contacts, found her name, and then hit send.

That’s definitely a lot and all at once too. You could easily KISS this by saying: “He picked up his phone, found her number, and hit send.”

Just listing information is also a prime example of telling and not showing. Remember, you’re not showing the story to the reader, you’re telling them the story.

So remember, KISS in Moderation and don’t just go KISSing anyone. KISS with everyone.

P.S. I don’t have any prejudgments about any of you as to whether or not you are stupid. So, I apologize for the “Stupid”’s through out this post.
Never forget who you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.

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Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:15 pm
Hannah says...

:D Thanks for the good advice!
you can message me with anything: questions, review requests, rants
are you a green room knight yet?
have you read this week's Squills?

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Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:43 pm
Chloe(: says...

Heehee, thanks for that luverly info.
Formerly known as Vivacious.

Full of Cliches:a challenge to see who can write a piece with the most cliches.

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Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:53 pm
anh18 says...

Thanks for the Advice. This will definitely come in handy when i write my first story. :)

When something is broken, it can be fixed.
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