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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's all about those Words, Part II

It happens. The Lightbulb. Inspiration results in your B.I.C. and the story pours out of your brain and into words.

You’ve completed the hardest part of writing your novel, the first draft. At least until someone asks what your book is about. Then it’s like your mouth is stuffed with ten wads of chewing gum.

But that’s another story.

Second draft means it’s time to kill, slash, and mutilate and clean up the mess you've made along the way.

Let’s start with words. Too many strangle your story. It’s like a pernicious vine that wraps around a bush or tree. Soon nothing is left of the original beauty.

1. Eliminate the obvious or the Duh factor. 

Examples:

His eyeglasses perched there on the end of his nose like an afterthought. 
She turned back around to face the other away from him. “I don’t care about you Phil. Not now. Not ever.”
Cassidy looked at Phil as he flipped through the cards.

2. Haven’t we been here before? Writers tend to repeat themselves. Especially when they want the reader to get it.

What was wrong with her? Why didn’t she take the ribbon now rather than wait? She could palm it, put it in her hand, and move away. Easy. She looked at Phil as he moved toward the cashier to block the woman’s view of Cassidy. No way would she notice. Not with Phil engaging the clerk in conversation at her desk. Now was the time to quit dithering and choose.
What was wrong with her? Why didn’t she take the ribbon now rather than wait? She could palm it, put it in her hand, and move away. Easy. She looked at Phil as he moved toward the cashier to blocked the woman’s view of Cassidy. No way would she notice. Not with Phil engaginged the clerk in conversation at her desk. Now was the time to quit dithering and choose.

Smothering and Other Ings. An inflection—such as -s or -es—adds a plural element to a noun. Place an -s or -ed to a verb and it creates tense.

The use of –ing is different. It makes it progressive, gives the word another syllable, and tends to weaken the verb.

Example:
Walking down the baking asphalt lead to Cassidy grumbling about the rising heat causing more delays for the group.
Re-write:
Cassidy grumbled about the hot asphalt and delayed the group even further.
Although there is nothing wrong with the occasional –ing, search your manuscripts and delete whenever possible.

Remember, the first draft is always a mess. Editing the wordy vines will breathe life into your story.

For a look at my first draft for this post *shiver*,

It happens. A Lightbulb moment hits. Inspiration results in B.I.C. And the words pour out of your brain and into words.

After you’ve written the first draft, you’ve completed the hardest part of writing your novel. At least until someone asks what your book is about then it’s like you stuffed your mouth with ten wads of chewing gum but that’s another story.

The storyline is set. You know where it’s going. Now you need to clean up the mess you made along the way.

Second draft means it’s time to kill, slash, and mutilate.

Let’s start with words first. Too many words will strangle your story. It’s like a pernicious vine that wraps around a bush or tree. Soon nothing is left of the original beauty.







3 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

Heh, heh. I'm so bad with repeating myself and passive construction. It slips in even though I try to avoid it while drafting.

I started the challenge yesterday. It was late at night before I had the chance to sit down, but I got almost 3000 words in. It's amazing what you can do when you don't watch TV.

Liz A. said...

Been there. Still doing that. Although, I heard that the whole -ing construction thing is a way that the English language is evolving at the moment. Using -ing verbs is becoming more and more prevalent. Just sayin'.

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

I love this post and relate so much. I spend hours getting rid of the 'duh' factor! "Less is more" as the saying goes.