Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.
Actually, I wouldn’t dare to critique the actual Evil Stepmother, she scares me. But, my friend and critique partner, Kathy L Wheeler (w/a Kae Elle Wheeler) just released a new novella that tells the story that has never been told before…why Cinderella’s Stepmother was SO evil.
I helped critique The Price of Scorn, and I thought I’d share just a few of those notes here. Kathy writes very well, and I didn’t have a lot to say, but of course, I HAD to say something. Don’t feel sorry for her, though, she critiques the HECK out of my stuff. ;)
You can find Kathy’s fabulous book by clicking on the below links – and it’s ONLY 99¢ for a limited time…
Now, for my suggestions: (Click on the images to enlarge them if you have problems reading the text)
Unnecessary words can be eliminated to tighten and make the writing more active. And, something I didn’t comment on that I just now noticed, on this part: Quickly brushing the straw from her skirt, Hilda straightened the bodice of her sturdy brown frock…’ Those actions aren’t likely being done at the same time. SO, perhaps it would be better worded like this: ‘Hilda quickly brushed the straw from her skirt and straightened the bodice of her sturdy brown frock’
‘In a fit of temper’ is telling and not needed. Her actions and dialogue make it obvious she’s in a fit of temper.
This was a recurring suggestion throughout the story. ‘The’ isn’t needed. Again, tightening. And, ‘made his way’ is something I see often. And, I have used it often. I’m trying to eliminate the usage. It’s too generic and dull. Better to replace it with more specific, active verbs, although I could probably do better than ‘approached’ :)
I believe my inserted comment speaks for itself. :)
I highlighted repeated words, which isn’t a big deal. My main suggestion is about the cliche and telling. To me, it sounds a little like author intrusion. This could be more ‘showing’ and vivid by doing something like:
Dirk strolled into the room. His lips quirked in a confident smirk. (Or something like that :))
So, those are a few examples. I’d like to thank Kathy for allowing me to use her story to show a few tips on tightening and showing. All comments and questions are welcome.
Until next time…happy writing!
*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible.
How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.
Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.
Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!
*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)
Amazon: Click Here