There's a Depeche Mode song I was listening to lately where the singer asks "Is simplicity best? Or just the easiest?" Well, it's not the easiest. In fact, simplicity is quite hard. I was looking at the page count for "The Year I Slept" - 146 pages. You know how much it work to do that, and get it down to less than 150 pages? At one point the book was about 225 pages. I cut a lot. And while I miss some of that stuff, I realize now it wasn't necessary, and I much prefer the book as a super simple, easy to read little non-commitment for readers. It's the kind of book you can read in one sitting, if you wanted, and I like that. It's some intense stuff, and I like that it can be digested all at once.
I'm sitting out in the backyard here in Arizona, where it is 70 degrees, and working on revising my new poetry book, "Evil Land - Act One." I'm on page 15 of about 60. This too is trying to be simple and easy to digest, perhaps even to a more insane degree. But I'm also adding a little. My editor, Clare, is good at pointing out words that are unnecessary, and I take them out as I can. But I want to add a bit more imagery here and there to sort of decorate the poem further.
Simplicity is NOT the easiest, in fact sometimes it's the HARDEST. Shaving down your text until it's as smooth as a jet plane isn't for everybody either, but it is for me at this point. I like streamlined prose. I like no-fat. That's just me.
I've been reading some books on poetry, and some poetry as well, including the 2016 Best American Poetry. Some good stuff in there. I've been impressed, and I'm trying to expand my horizons. After reading so much stuff, I looked at my poem and was like, "Boy, it needs work!" But after getting back the revision from my editor and sitting down today with it, I'm doing it.
Simplicity IS best. For me, anyway. :)