Overwriting vs Underwriting | Writing Struggles

Overwriting vs Underwriting | Writing Struggles

At least when you overwrite, you can go back and delete the unnecessary.

I recently got told that I tend to underwrite scenes in my story, which threw me in a loop. They say that I summarize the chapters and the readers won’t be able to feel submerged into the reading unless i add more details and I could not comprehend this information.

All this time, I’ve been reading online about not writing too much details because it gets boring and I took that to the next level. I just cover the surface when my characters are going through something, which doesn’t allow the readers to really get it. It just seems like their watching two characters from a third person point of view rather than actually feeling it. Do you get what i mean?

So now, i’m putting off writing my fifth draft until I can get my emotions under control and prepare myself to go in and change up nearly all the chapters to add more feel too it. It’s dreadful and exhausting but it must be done.

At least when you overwrite, you’re able to go back and delete what you feel may be dragging the conversation or chapter on but when you underwrite, you have to go back in and actually rewrite and add in details, which takes a lot longer than highlighting and backspacing.

I’m still writing to find middle ground so i don’t bore the readers half to death while also making sure they can feel the scene and understand to their cores how my character is feeling, even if it isn’t the best thing.

How do you overcome this? Because i’m going to need a lot of advice to get through this next round of editing.

4 thoughts on “Overwriting vs Underwriting | Writing Struggles

  1. Every book is part summary and part elaboration. You pick out the intense scenes that will get an emotional reaction and slow those down usually. Then you speed up the summarized parts that are not as interesting but need to be told and get you from one scene to the next. This is showing and telling basically. When your character is driving to the market and nothing interesting happens, then you summarize it. However, if he’s on his way to the market and a radio program comes on that reminds him of his deceased wife, you’ll want to give us the details then. That’s my best explanation. Haha. Good luck!

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    1. Part summary…my problem is that I tend to summarize 3/4th of the time. I’m currently having the problem debating on what to detail and what not to but I love your explanation! It really helps clear my mind a little bit because with being overwhelmed, that knowledge i once used to have disappeared and i was left confused and frustrated. Thank you!

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      1. You’re very welcome! I’ve actually read books that were more summary than elaboration and they can be good. It just depends I guess but like I say, when it’s meaningful, elaborate. When not, summarize. That’s a good rule that gets you right most of the time. Best wishes!

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