All my favorite writers are long-winded. I love sentences you can’t read out loud in one breath. I gleefully pore over phrases that run a page and a half long, with structures that follow several trains of thought woven together in such an way that they can’t be separated without unraveling the entire verbal structure. I love streams of words that rush you with the speed and complexity of polyphonic pieces, whose wide harmonies are sometimes jarring, always unexpected, and which are intent on commanding all of your attention.
I find myself a little lost sometimes in the sparseness of minimalist writing, like a person who has to stand in the middle of a vast and sumptuous, but empty room, where, despite the fact that she can’t help but feel inspired by its flawless simplicity, she would really be happy to find a chair, or a built in bench next to a window, or at least a small rug to insulate her bare feet from the coldness of the bare stone floor, just enough comfort for the soul exposed to such still greatness.
Indeed, word structures should be architecture, not interior decoration; a well constructed phrase must be devoid of superfluous words, but not necessarily bare. All of us end up wishing for a chair to sit in eventually. The beautiful hall of the phrase structure is there to provide shelter for the life unfolding in the story, and for this reason it needs to keep its meaning soft and yielding, to honor each reader’s privilege to make it uniquely their own. That great hall where imagination roams free needs pathways and light for the mind to find its way through it, and windows to see what’s beyond.
It fear I’m attempting to rationalize excessive word count, running words in threes and providing unrelated details.