Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Before you hit send

March tip.
Some of the things to consider before you hit that send button.

Congratulations on finishing that manuscript. What a great achievement. Not many people can say they have finished a manuscript, but before you hit the send button please do a spell check and keep an eye out for the examples below. Oh, and good luck. J

Redundant words - hang in space. They sit on a page of a manuscript without reason. They don’t add to your work, they take from your work.
Example. He walked toward her, and smiled at her. Lame sentence, but you get the gist. At her is redundant. It is not needed. How much tighter is the sentence if you cut out the redundant words?
Instead, He walked toward her and smiled.

Example.  Adam wasn't just a man to her now. Redundant words, 'to her now'.  Also the word 'just' in some cases. If the scene is in the heroine's POV, (point of view) you don't need 'to her now'. Instead, Adam wasn't just a man.
Just, very, and that are also redundant words - lame descriptors. At times keeping some of these words will help the sentence flow more smoothly, but knowing which words slow your writing is a great step in creating story flow.

Check for:

·         Unnecessary back story.

·         Repetitions.

·         Passages that describe thoughts and feelings in too much detail 

·         Adverbs. Ask yourself are they necessary.

·         Overuse of words such as like, was, were, that, indicate your writing maybe too 
           passive. Change to active voice.

·         Words to watch out for. Make sure you need them. How effective are they and are  
           they necessary? Actually, almost, like, approximately, basically, suddenly, truly,
           utterly, were, somewhat, sort of, eventually, finally, nearly, simply, somehow, just,
           just then, kind of, nearly, practically, really, simply, seems.

When I first started writing, I used the word 'that' quite frequently. It was my pet word. By deleting the occasional word 'that' and replacing it with a better word if it was necessary, my work improved.
Recognise your own pet words. Do a find and highlight how many there are in your work. Delete or replace if there are too many. Your work will be much stronger and flow naturally. 

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