Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Part 5 – Facts from the RWA Convention


Fact to remember: Did you know that you should use an adverb as a placeholder in your first draft? Then when you edit, it will remind you that you need to rewrite this line to show the action rather than telling us by adding a word to describe your verb.

As an example…

Embarrassed and tired, Mimi yawned repeatedly.

Another yawn broke free from her control. Stunned, Mimi checked to see if anyone else had noticed. Before she could raise her hand to cover her face, her dry lips parted once again. This time accompanied by a groan. She turned her back to the room and swallowed a few times, hoping this manoeuvre would stem her rude behaviour.

p.s. Forgive me if my example isn't so great…it's after 1:00am and I'm pushing my limits…. probably why I chose this as my example. I'm living it J

Another question o f mine was answered during this workshop called "It's Showtime" by Janice Hardy.

How often should an author "show" actions rather than simply describing them with a tidy adverb as above? I know I've read books that draw me right out of the story because we have to slow down and read a long description of the hero or heroine's emotions or activities. It can get wearing…even if the writer has a great gift for descriptive phrases.

Her answer: Don't bog the story down and don't show a scene twice, once is quite enough. Add narrative distance for dramatic effect (wondered, hoped, prayed). And if you have to tell – keep it in the character's voice.


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