Sunday, January 9, 2011

The rule of the short skirt

The other day my son showed me a status update from one of his friends on facebook that made me laugh.

It said:
"You want your essays to be like skirts, long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep things interesting."

This was a quote from their english teacher and I have named it the short skirt rule.

No truer words have ever been spoken and I will never look a short skirt the same way. Although I have to wonder what the girls in the class thought.

This is definitely something I have learned to incorporate over the years. When I finished the first draft of my book it sat at 100,000 words, now it's 72,000. Here's hoping I kept the interesting parts.

I'm going to try and start a new feature on Monday. Called goals for the week, then the following Monday I can report on how I did. Last week I tried not eat after 8pm. I was 4 for 7. Not bad, but I see room for improvement. I did research more agents and now have a great spreadsheet ready for more detailed research.

Goals for the week: More agent research, chapter 7 or 8, and drink more water.

How about you? Do you try to follow the short skirt rule? Do you have any goals this week?


20 comments:

Heidi Willis said...

That's HILARIOUS!!! As a girl, I'm a little offended, but as a writer, it totally rocks! :)

Funny, the story we workshopped today was lacking in the covering the essentials part. Everyone kept saying how it was fantastically written, but still needed some more details for us to really understand and connect. I may bring that quote to class tomorrow! :)

No goals for me, unless you count trying to make sure I'm in the right place at the right time with the right work done. Although, if I can score a little free time, I'd really, really like to get started on writing something new. I miss writing1

Tamika: said...

I love this analogy, too cute!

This week I want to finish some edits and score in the 1000 words category:)

Robyn Campbell said...

Love this! *scratches it down to use in homeschool*

My goals, well yanno. They will be the same until I can feel like T. Anne feels today. And then new goals will be added. Plus, I'm trying to lose weight. Right now I'm blogging instead of climbing on the elliptical. Better get off here and grab my iPod.

And drink lots more water.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm so with you, I need to drink more water! Big time.

And my sweet spot seems to be in the 80s. Not sure why.
~ Wendy

Laura Pauling said...

I love that rule. I think as writers that's something we all strive for.

Tracy said...

the short skirt rule is the hardest one to master. Most of us start out wearing medieval gowns...and have to learn our way down to skirts.

It's a lengthy process. (I suck at puns)

Carrie said...

Oh my, how do I love that quote! My goals for this week are to complete a first draft of a synopsis for a book proposal class I'm taking, start revising one of my short pieces, and start a book.

Carrie :)

Angela Felsted said...

What a funny rule, I love it!

Meredith said...

That's hilarious! I love that rule. It's so spot on.

LTM said...

Fantastic rule! At times my skirt's too short, but only once have I been accused of it being too long... Still working on that happy medium~

sighed, Ally. :D

Ellie said...

What a great rule! It certainly brought a smile to my face.

Holly Ruggiero said...

That’s a great rule. I will do my best to follow it.

Paul Greci said...

Great analogy, especially for essays.

Melissa Gill said...

That is high-larious. I'll have to keep that in mind. That's amazing that you were able to remove 28,000 words. Great job. I need to set some weekly goals for my writing.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ha! That's a funny way to say it... but true. I'm definitely too wordy. Editing can be painful... but worth it!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love this new Monday feature. :D

Thanks for the reminder, Patti. I'm supposed to be researching agents to send my query to later this week. Or maybe I'm just procrastinating. ;)

Okay, still laughing about the short skirt rule.

Susan R. Mills said...

I love the short skirt rule! Perfect. I was 4 for 7 on my weekly goal too. I'll try harder this week. And I'm going to start exercising again. It's been a while.

Carolyn V. said...

I've never heard that saying before. Hee hee hee.

I love the idea of goals on Monday. I should do that in my own life so I can get some stuff done! =)

Stasia said...

LOVE this quote! Good luck with your goals. I'm just trying to get in two hours of writing a day.

LeishaMaw said...

That's a great rule. In my last novel the first draft ended at 118,000 words. It now has 90,000. I like to think of it as a weight loss plan. And you know, I don't miss those extra words at all. :)