LOL. Yeah, that’s one very creative knitter. 🙂
I can’t think of anything better than the following three quick tips which I’m never without as I write. At times it’s about heading back to the basics, and making sure the foundation of our work is steady and good. So, get ready. Here are three precious little gems to instantly improve your writing.
- SENTENCE LENGTH
Oh yeah. When writing we can get so carried away with getting our words out, that our sentence length drags. My favorite thing, is to read my sentences out loud, particularly when a paragraph doesn’t look quite right. Try it. If you do, you’ll soon find yourself chopping long sentences right down.
There are so many benefits to this. Did you realize shorter sentences ensure the pace of your book picks up? Were you aware your reader becomes more heavily engaged when that occurs? It makes total sense, right? Shorter sentences allow for a quicker pace, and as a writer that’s one of our goals, to ensure our reader keeps turning those pages.
- TELLING AS COMPARED TO SHOWING
This can be an issue, and one we’re not even aware of. What to learn is, don’t tell your reader what your character is thinking, but show them with physical reactions. Even add more dialogue if necessary to accomplish this.
Here’s a short but sweet example of moving a sentence from telling to showing. To set the scene, the hero has lost consciousness after a hit to the head. He now awakens.
- “I’ve been out for twenty minutes?” Confusion took him.
- “I’ve been out for twenty minutes?” He scrubbed a hand over his head, wincing as he struck a lump. “Did someone hit me?”
Switching to showing is about finding those words of emotion, and as you see above with the word “confusion,” nipping it out and showing with something else.
- OVERUSE OF ADVERBS AND ADJECTIVES
Never forget you want your reader to be immersed in your story. You don’t want them thinking too hard by the “overuse” of adverbs and adjectives. What do I mean by this? Here’s another sweet little example.
- OVERUSE. Can you spot the “unnecessary” adverb or adjective in the following sentence?
- Jack stepped away, quietly propping his back against the wide trunk of the tree.
- If you got the word “quietly,” you’re so right. It should read–
- Jack stepped away, propping his back against the wide trunk of the tree.
Keep an eye out for any “overuse” of adverbs. In the example I’ve used, Jack is quietly propping his back against the tree. How else does one prop themselves against a tree except quietly? “Propping” is a casual, restful motion, so in this case the adverb “quietly” is clearly not needed when “propping” explains it all. Don’t get me wrong though, adverbs definitely have a place where it’s necessary. Just remove those ones you don’t need so your sentences can free up and flow smoother.
Now for a bonus. I’m going to share with you a new excerpt from PROTECTOR, my young adult/fantasy/romance. Check out the scene below. It’s all about showing and not telling. To set the scene, my hero is in the heroine’s bedroom, and her best friend comes charging in. All completely innocent of course. 🙂
The door flew open and slammed against the wall. Yeah, that was Silvie, all right.
“Ten minutes is enough you two. Now break it up,” she admonished as she stormed toward the bed, red-gold curls flying about her face. “Let’s remember we still have a villain to unearth and apprehend.” She turned, giving Davio a fierce glower. “What do you think you’re doing on my best friend’s bed? Get off. Off. Off. Off.”
“Yes.” He pushed himself to his feet and pulled me up to stand beside him. “Except, in the future, Silvie Carver, you will remember not to storm into the room the way you just did and disturb us. Correct protocol is that you knock and wait before addressing a prince.”
Silvie didn’t seem to care as she reached past him and gripped my wrist. She scowled at him and tugged me toward her like a mother bear protecting her cub. “Well, lucky for me, Davio Thy-prince Loveria, I do not have to observe your correct protocol. We are on Earth, you see, not Peacio.”
Hmm, and all this from the girl who’d told me just days ago that I needed to get laid.
I almost smiled.
I hope you enjoyed that peekaboo excerpt, and if you still want more, then just below are the links to grab your copy of Protector. 🙂 So, what did you think of these three quick tips? Leave me a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you.
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