A great writer is that way by intention. Each word is carefully selected to create just the right mood and atmosphere. Clarity and ambiguity are never left to chance but are by deliberate choice.
Weed out the unnecessary, the showy, the waffling and the cutesy words and phrases which cloud the issue skies and leave only the best.
Make every word earn its place in your manuscript, preferably with more than one reason for its particular use over another, more general, less specific word. The choice of sound, sense and sensitivity are chosen with the reader in mind rather than the writer. Less show, more beauty.
One of the easiest and most effective revision methods must be to read your words aloud. Should you stumble over the words, if they don’t have a pleasing rhythm, cadence and flow, mark them and go back to them.
Anywhere there is an awkward clunkiness, where the mood of the words is not as you intended, if they don’t touch the heart as you envisioned when you drafted them, go back and look at them with a critical eye rewording the passage.
Develop a more sensitive ear by reading great writing, listening to the words and the music they create in your mind.
My given name is Zoe, derived from the ancient Greek for life. As a girl, fascinated with words, I came across zoetic in an old dictionary. A rare or archaic word with the same derivation as my name, zoetic means living or vital. Also from the same derivation is zoetrope, the Victorian toy you see below.
Words on the page, of themselves, are little more than patterns of ink on paper and can be just as dry to read. Like a zoetrope, my aim as a writer and editor is to give life and vitality to black squiggles. Words ought to sparkle, shine, and move me to laughter or tears before I send them out into the world. There I want them to sing and dance in the mind and imagination of readers.
How could I call my business anything but Zoetic Words?
Have you ever become so immersed in a book that you became oblivious to everything else? Has a story grabbed you and not let go until you got to ‘The End’? Reality recedes when you dive deep enough to live in a story world, hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling it as if it is happening to you. Storytelling like this will bring readers back to your books.
Especially in romantic fiction, deepening point of view is effective for pulling your reader so far in that they feel as if they experience the story. Look for anything which could obscure or put distance between the reader and the story.