Is for ...
"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.
To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence,
is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...
Anybody can have ideas --
the difficulty is to express them
without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
- Mark Twain's Letter to Emeline Beach, 10 Feb 1868
Ghost of Ernest Hemingway here ...
That jacknape Clemens has wandered off after starting like he did so often in his writing.
If you should be wondering what the definition of jacknape is:
1 a : an impudent or conceited fellow.
b : a saucy or mischievous child.
2 : monkey, ape.
Either version fits Clemens.
Surprisingly, Clemens used an image suitable to the times and the subject.
When you find yourself winding on and on in your novel, be kind to the reader:
rewind and begin again to distill your chapter to its essence.
If you truly care about your subject, you will strive to make the reader care as well.
You do not do that by boring him.
In this shallow age of texting and news bites ...
They did that in my time with newspaper articles.
I wrote in short, crisp sentences so that even skimmers would get the gist of my story.
In my “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” when the protagonist is nearing death because of a gangrenous leg,
“All right. Now he would not care for death. One thing he had always dreaded was the pain.”
Here the short sentences have a cumulative effect, pounding home the idea that the hero is nearing death.
Try to achieve a similar effect in your writing
by stringing together a series of short sentences when you want to stress a point or add dramatic punch to your prose.
Is your prose bloated or lean?
Intent or laziness?
I am a ghost. Your passions mean little to me.
The quality of your writing does ...
After all, if people stop reading for pleasure, who will read my novels?