Use Strong Verbs

Overuse of adverbs (-ly words) is common among new and inexperienced writers. See the example below for ways to replace them with strong verbs. Using strong verbs instead of adverbs also assists in “showing” rather than “telling”.

“She’s definitely mine,” said Big Red aggressively.

“Admittedly, she had lunch with you in the same patch of orchard, but she recently told me it’s me she wants,” said Big Grey, raising his paws threateningly, lashing quickly at the larger kangaroo.


“Can you pair find somewhere else to strongly contest the lovely lady elsewhere,” asked Little Red tiredly. “We’re trying to nap here. You pair going at it noisily is interfering with my sleep.”

Compare:

“She’s belongs to me.” Big Red growled, planted his tail, and raised his paws.

“Yes. You ate lunch in the same patch of orchard. But, she sleeps with me. She wants me.” Big Grey, thrusts with his claws, slashing the larger roo’s chest.


“Come off it you two… find somewhere else to fight for the bitch,” Little Red yawned. “We’re trying to nap. Your brawling is interfering with my sleep.”

Rewrite

Congratulations! Your draft is done. You are doing well. Now for the exciting part; starting to get your story ready to face the rest of the world. All those hardwon words need to be cut down to size.

Every single word must earn its place in your story. Every sentence, every paragraph, every scene, every subplot must move the story forward. Readers paying to read your story deserve your very best.

Good luck. Your editor thanks you in advance.

It’s the Journey

One criticism often levelled at genre fiction is that it is “predictable”. The contract a romance author has with a reader is that the lovers get either their ‘happy ever after’ or ‘happy for now’. The murder mystery reader expects to find out who the murderer is.

So, what is it about genre fiction that draws readers to it in droves? Of course, it’s just as James Hynes’ says, it’s the journey. So, make it a good one. Make it original, make it fresh. Write a cracking story and your readers will love you.

A classic book

Don’t you love a book that you can still discuss years after you first read it?

A classic can be one which gave you a new way of seeing an issue, an aspect of life, love or happiness. It may have changed your life forever.

A book you can read over and over again without ever getting bored.

A book you can argue about for years, each with your own interpretation, opinion and viewpoint over meaning, the best alternative ending, why a character acted a certain way and so on.

A book you can recommend to everyone you meet and which can mean as much to them for either the same or another reason as yours.

As difficult as to be good

Many writers struggle against perfectionism. In previous posts we discussed omitting extra words, editing for clarity. Simple clarity is not in the least easy to achieve. It never has been. As far back as 1837 writer and poet Thomas Hood quoted “the easiest reading is damned hard writing”.

We know that no human is perfect. Neither can anybody be ‘good’ all the time. Yet we often make the mistake of expecting perfection in our writing. The number of articles devoted to defeating perfectionist tendencies toward gives us a clue as to the extent of the struggle. All anyone can do is their best and to strive to improve. At some time we have to say enough and submit.