Don’t worry I’m not going to get all philosophic – i.e. is there something more out there in the universe? There might be, I don’t know…who does? But wait, do you think there is?
Sorry! What I’m asking in the title of this post relates to your stories. As in, “Is there something more you should add to them that could make them better? The easy answer is: always. The best answer is: sometimes. Another possible answer could be: bananas. But the “bananas” answer wouldn’t make any sense, so I don’t know why anyone would answer the above question with that answer.
I’ve found that I have a problem with not creating a big enough world, or at least seeming to create a big enough world. What I need to remember is that all I (and we as writers) need to do is basically hint at a bigger world that our characters inhabit. For example, say I set a story in Toronto. I don’t need my characters to run up and down Yonge Street or venture from Etobicoke to The Beach for the reader to know that the story is set in Toronto. All I really need to do is mention Yonge Street or Sneaky Dee’s (a sweet bar at the corner of Bathurst and College) for my readers to get the jist of the Toronto setting. If you are not familiar with Toronto then (roughly) swap The Bronx and South Manhattan for Etobicoke and The Beach and you’ve got New York City as your world.
I err when it comes to the question of, “Is there something more to add to the story?”, when I add too much, but this is something I recommend. Why? Because you can always cut it out upon further revisions and in subsequent drafts. My philosophy, while not one that may be universal for all writers, is to answer, “Is there something more to add to the story?”, with a resounding, “YES!” and then cut out what I don’t need after I give it a re-read and realize that I don’t need it. This might be a waste of time. It also might not be a waste of time, because what is a “waste of time” to some is “the best five minutes I’ve ever experienced” to others. It’s all relative I guess. Kind of like what that little “something more” might bring (or detract) from the story.
On a totally unrelated note: The moon looked really cool as it rose this evening. I caught a glimspe of it when I looked out my window for inspiration as I was editing and it had this reddish-orange hue. It looked cool as it peeked through the clouds.
On a related note to the moon colour: orange is a two syllable word.