Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Craft of Writing, Or How to Avoid Those Dreaded POVs, Adverbs and Purple Prose!

Writers write. Right? (excuse the pun) But, how often do we get that first important draft of our current WIP down on paper (or on our PC screens), re-read it and it sounds like crap?
Did I really use those many adverbs that simply weren't necessary?
How did I manage to mixup those POV's? My character had their eyes closed, so how did they know what another was doing at the time? (They may be cluey, but omniscient??)

Oh, and here's another unintentional disembodied body part floating across my screen!
          "Her legs unwittingly led her out the door, and his eyes followed after her."  
Ouch, not only is that painful for my characters (who'd like to keep all their body parts in tact), but it reads oddly.What it should say is:
          "As she walked out the door, his gaze followed after her."

And, where did that passive voice come from? Did I just write: "I was sitting on the sofa, staring out the window"? Noooo... It should be: 'I sat on the sofa, and stared out the window." Active voice sounds much better.

Here I am, showing and and not telling!   
Infodump anyone?

How easily these mistakes can slip in undetected and spoil the flow of our story. But then, no first draft ever sprung perfectly formed from the head of a deity - unless of course you're a genius, like Mozart, and they come along only once in a millenium. If you're one of those, well, good luck to you! The rest of use have to write and rewrite until we get it right. Right? Absolutely. Which is why we need to constantly (good adverb) work at improving our skills.
I do that by reading blogs dedicated to writing and editing. And there are many excellent ones I subscribe to which help me hone my craft.

Here are my favourite four.  I'm sure there are others out there I haven't yet discovered.

1. Janice Hardy  (Brilliant all-round blog on the craft of being a writer)
2. Kristen Lamb's Blog  (I love just about anything she writes! Fabulous and informative)
3. Romance University  (Janice Hardy contributes to this site, as do a host of other experienced writers. They share the best tips on improving your writing that's not exclusive to romance writers)
4. Donya Lynne  (Author and expert on the craft of being a writer)

So, that's it for this week. If anyone knows any other sites, please share it here. The more we know, the better writers we'll be and our readers will thank us for it.

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