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Monday, 5 April 2010

Filler Killer

Here's a problem that I don't really talk about as a writer, because I've never encountered it before.

What do you do when you can't make the minimal wordcount? When even 2000 words feels like you have to pull material out of every gawdforsaken body orifice? Do I resort to tautology and obfuscation to meet the requirement but shortchange myself and my readers? Should I incorporate Henry Jamesian passages of long description and bore myself into a stupor?

My muse scratches his/her nose and opines that there wasn't much of a story or narrative drive to whatever I was working on in the first place. I'm reminded of Abe Ferrara's infamous film, 'The Driller Killer' - in between brief scenes of the film's anti-hero taking a power tool to the skulls of winos in 1970's New York, Ferrara's film is mostly filler (oil-painting, lesbian shower scenes acted by actresses who look fed up and shots of the noisy punk band rehearsing next door..). Perhaps a gory poster would work....?


2 comments:

Au and Target said...

I add another angle to the story; or a sub plot line.

Derek said...

I think sometimes a piece is just a certain length and tampering with it just dilutes it. Of course, that's fine if it's a creative piece but if you're writing to a brief - for payment - then you have a whole heap of trouble on your hands!

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