Was reading this interview with Alex Garland, and came across this interesting observation :
"'What bad writing usually is,' he says, 'is over-writing. There's just too much. Adjectives, whatever.' "
Wouldn't this apply to not just the words, but also the ideas? We hear great reviews of people who put in lots of ideas per page : Larry Niven, Umberto Eco, that sort of people. But the ideas these guys put into a page are usualyl worth just those couple of lines, and not more, which is why they fit in.
I got onto this train of thought because of the troubles I'm having in writing now. While earlier my problem was that my story ideas were single-liners, hardly worth the two pages they took up, now I'm thinking up grand stuff : "Let me write about outsourcing!", "Hey, a story where the heroine is a reincarnation of a famouse person would be good! And I can add this buried treasure to it, and a reberl group, and voodoo, and... and..." until I'm overwhelmed with all the forking paths I need to chronicle. Writing is as much a matter of leaving out useless stuff, as it is an effort to put down the essentials. And the worst part is deciding what goes into what category. Hoo boy.
On a related (sort of) note, the third instalment of the Hathoda series is now online at Dinker's magazine site. comments invited...as long as they arent like CV, whose letter on the feedback page describes my efforts at articulating a kid's phonetic language as "inspired by J K Rowling".