Friday, April 8, 2011

4 Writer's Tip - The last ones from Becoming Your Own Critique Partner

Here's where I finish up the tips from Becoming Your Own Critique Partner.
The first tip is on Wandering Body Parts.

Her eyes roamed the room.
His knees dropped to the floor.
Her feet marched to the door,

Do they make you chuckle. They do me. Believe me when I say in the heat of writing I've done them all and sometimes I've missed them during the revisions. Just put the image of this happening and see if you can keep a straight face.

Second tip - Active voice vs passive voice. While there's nothing wrong with passive voice active makes the event become immediate. It's a matter of verb choice that turns a boring moment into an immediate one. It's also show and not tell.

Third tip - Dangling participles. This can also create a funny picture.
Walking to the door the dog barked. One I read once said Walking down the street she met Stan walking down the street. Scratched my head over that one. These are easily mended. While walking to the door, the dog barked. The second one needs to be made into two sentences.

Fourth tip - It or other such words - To me the frequent use of It and It was is like scraping fingernails on the blackboard. Not always avoidable but usually can be mended with a bit of change in the wording. We've all seen this sentence. It was a dark and stormy night. There are a dozen or more ways to change this sentence so it becomes dynamic. I've judged contests where all I've done is underling all the non-specific terms used.

Next week's tips will be gleaned from who knows where.

No comments: