…not that The Boss is old, mind you! Did you see him doing the splits at the Super Bowl last year? His older music. Ever notice how wordy it is?
After spending a year or so writing a novel-in-verse, I’ve returned to old manuscripts horrified to see they read like early Springsteen. Bruce can cram in the words and make everything come out right. The rest of us can’t.
I’ve spent the summer creating/revising old picture books, and wordiness is a constant issue. When you work with less, each word has to say more. That doesn’t mean, though, that longer works are exempt from careful examination. As I read through Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, I see more and more the need for precision in word choice. Sharper writing. It’s what turns a good manuscript into a great one.