Hurricane Irene fizzled for us.  We didn’t lose power.  We didn’t get a lot of exciting wind.  The rain didn’t even sound forceful.  Irene felt like an intense summer afternoon thunderstorm.  I was a little disappointed.  The Northeast took a harder hit than my area did though; which was bad because they are not prepared for hurricane like storms of any kind.  But for me, Irene fizzled.

And so my brain turns to writing.  Surprise, surprise!

This got me thinking about the difference between writing/stories that have intensity to them versus something that fizzles, and if the same work can do both.  I have my lists of likes and dislikes in writing, but at the top of the yuck-list is long, detailed descriptions.  I hate them.  If that level of detail is required for the prose to work, I’m fine with it, but I like to keep that to a minimum.  For me, a story that sizzles focuses heavily on the characters: their personalities, friendships and relationships, dialogue, motivations, and all that jazz.  A fizzled story relies on the descriptions of the setting and world to captivate me.  As a result, I’m terrible at writing descriptions.

So, where do you find your sizzle in a story?  What kills a work for you?  What’s a fizzled piece to you?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. poetofmidnight
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 05:35:34

    I know what you mean about long descriptions. If something goes on and on its easy to lose interest. I suppose the “sizzle” that I tend to find are the words or metaphors that really capture an image or emotion. Usually what kills me is too much prose; if I’m board reading what I wrote then everyone else will be too. I’m glad to hear Irene didn’t hit you too hard.


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