Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Haven't started 29: 50,757 word count
Re-reading and adding texture.

Writing tip: Titling this texture is kind of an inside joke. There has been great discussion among authors as to what an editor means when he/she says of a work that it needs more texture. Texture seems to mean anything from deeper characterization, more flavorful descriptions, another subplot, to pizzazz.
One day, texture can mean that the manuscript, which depicts life in the deep south, needs more cultural display in setting and characterization. The next day texture might mean giving the villain a more balanced personality, developing some aspect of his backstory which explains his inclination to do evil deeds to the point that the reader understands and may even sympathize with this horrid antagonist. And the next day, texture may mean to use stronger verbs. When an editor says texture to me, I try to remain calm.
So, when I go back to page one and read for continuity and to give me impetus for the rest of the novel, I say, I'm adding texture.


  1. Nice word count, Ms. Paul! Keep it going.

    Hmmm... a long debated word, eh? Cool! Thanks for filling us in on that. Now I'll be able to speak the same language as the editors!

  2. I like that catchall word. I shall now start demanding that my students write with more "texture."

  3. No, no, no, Linda. Don't do that. I can't stand being told to put more texture in. Aaargh. I want to yell at the editor, "Please be specific!"

  4. I was just kidding! My students would have no idea what "texture" is!

  5. So if WE could define texture - what would we say it is (specifically)?

  6. Kathy, do you remember in the picture book, where the sister comes into the little girls' bedroom and exclaims, "Something is not right!" I think that is as specific as we are going to get. It's akin to saying public health option. It depends on who you speak to as to what the definition is.