Category: Adventure,love, challenges

How to Crisp Up Your Writing–Revision Tools for Wordsmithing

Once again I am reblogging one of Mary Carroll Moores’s writing tips. 

For over a year she has reminded me or taught me a lot  about writing. Mary and the AutoCrit Programme have been my teachers in the writing of The Fortune Seekers.

 Today’s article is on crisp writing – something quite new to me a year ago. Perhaps my readers may also benefit from this refresher.

 How to Crisp Up Your Writing–Revision Tools for Wordsmithing. By- 

(Quoted by Mary)

I’m a lifelong learner–there’s always so much new stuff to practice and absorb about making great books. I take different online classes for accountability and to keep up with new writing ideas.  

This summer, I took two classes on revision.  

We posted our writing for feedback. Writers were experienced and got mostly positive comments, but occasionally we’d see this: “I love your writing but can you make it a little crisper?”

Crisp writing. What is that? 

 Tight, toned, well paced, fairly bouncing off the page. Stands out to a reader, an agent, an editor.  

Easier said than written, I think!  

Crisp doesn’t usually appear in early drafts (if it does, you might be holding back too much, wordsmithing too soon!). Early drafts are about content and structure, exploring what you want the writing to say, what flow you’re after. It takes a while to get these two aspects solid. In books, even longer. I find about 80 percent of total time with a book, from idea to publication, is spent on content and structure. So if you’re still there, don’t worry too much. Take your time–you need to get this part right before you begin to work on tightening the prose. Otherwise you’ll have beautiful sentences that mean nothing.

But once you’re ready to crisp it up, here are some global searches that help me a lot:

1. Search for “was” and “were” and “are”–any form of the verb “to be.” E.B. White who coauthored the famous book The Elements of Style, talks about this being a blah verb, one that doesn’t provoke imagery or excitement in a reader. It’s true–and when you do a search for “was,” and begin to see how often you use it (was staring instead of stared, for instance), you’ll be stunned. Replace with more direct, active, vivid verbs.

2. Then search for “-ing.” Again, this form of the verb denotes progressive movement, rather than anything sharp and decisive. You’ll need it sometimes, but writers use it a LOT more than they should, IMHO. Replace where you can.

3. Look for repetitive sentence patterns. My unconscious pattern is groups of three actions in one sentence (they sat, ate, then left). Find yours–easier with feedback from a close reader. Then vary, vary, vary!

4. Watch out for your use of sentence fragments. These are great little punches every now and then but like any device, they can be overused.  

5. Cut some of that imagery, especially as “stage set” at the opening of a chapter or scene. Do you need to set the stage? Can you just jump right into action?

6. Search for “-ly” words, the dreaded adverb which Stephen King rails against in his writing-craft book On Writing. Delete whenever possible.  

7. Search for “suddenly,” “finally,” and “at last”–these can create melodrama, so be sure you need them when you use them. I’m guilty of three to four “suddenly’s” in one page!

There are more, but this should give you a good start.

Thank you once again Mary for your valuable tips.

http://www.Xlibris.com/book sales/TheFortuneSeekers-Dan

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“Who I am and why I am here”

“Who I am and why I am here”

Throughout my life I have written a number of books. Always having been a book reader. Enjoying getting lost in a story and learning more about life and social issues as I read.

As a child I created a twelve chapter story entitled ‘Beth- the orphan’. Handwritten in a school exercise book.

Following this novel, a three part comic story about a girl.  I named it ‘Bella Golden’ Bella’s activities were created in childlike drawings.Sadly all of these childhood stories have been lost over the years.

As a young adult, at teacher’ college, the students in the English course needed to write a chilrens’ book. Once again I drew a pictorial story about a boy on a train – entitled ‘Tim takes a train trip’. All I recall in writing this is my attempt at making the words read like the sound of a train on the tracks. The clickity click – ‘we’re getting there, we’re getting there’ ran through the story – onomatopoeia I think it is called.

Many years later in the 1990s, when computers were first being bought by everyday people for their homes, in my middle age I began my life’s story. An analysis of

-why I am who I am.

-Challenges I have faced.

-Motivations.

That sort of thing. It sits in a file in documents on my computer. Only one person has read it.

So, why am I here now?

What is my motivation twenty years later to begin blogging?

After a decade of family tree research, after discovering interesting information about my ancestors, I discovered story writing again.

Eighteen months later my first novel has been written. Presently in with a self publishing company to bring it to print, into ebook form, and released on the market.

As I await the release date, my focus has been on building relationships, joining and promoting on social networks, so that more than family and friends may show an interest in ‘The Fortune Seekers’.

Hence I discovered the world of blogging. For a few months I have attempted this art. Posting weekly. Adding pictures. Attempting to gain followers and likes.

Sofar, I remain an unknown blogger with very limited attention to my blogs. Undiscovered. Unsure how hash tags work. That sort of thing. Today I attempt my first tags. Interested to see the response.

So, why am I here? To learn.

As simple as that.

 

Setting up my website  – https://glenniswritingabc.wordpress.com

Website Beginninings

Ok

My first newsletter is up, thanks to the programme called ‘smore’. Quite brilliant really. Simple. Except it took me a while to remove the spelling mistakes. Just for fun I have left them  – hoping you, my reader, can locate them. 

Hint – there are 2. And some bad writing to boot. But all has been corrected on the live smore site.

Ok – now to setting up the website. 

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for a couple of weeks. The blogs are appearing on my Facebook page. How that happened I don’t know. That’s  – 

Facebook a/c – Glennis Browne Author 

http:www/facebook.com/glentrev 

But no complaints. Something works between Facebook and WordPress.

As my novel is soon to be published, it’s time to develop my website.

I’m publishing with Xlibris.com. Both hard copies and ebooks will be available under my name:- Glennis Browne and/or ‘The Fortune Seekers.” Ebooks will be available on all ebook sites – Amazon, Kindle etc as well

But is that enough to be found by the world? No, not from what I see. 

Hence, my attempt to build my first website. Finally I have managed to sort out a domain name, after paying the annual fee.

My web Domain name is –   https://glenniswritingabc.wordpress.com

I really am feeling my way, friends.

That’s it. I hope that is it anyway. Not the easiest to remember, as I really wanted to use my author name – Glennis Browne, but when setting up my WordPress blogg I invented glenniswritingabc. At least that was available.

Now, when the website is up and running in a few hours, look in on it and see how I’ve progressed designing the site. Apparently it’s like ‘paint by numbers’, following templates. But we shall see, shan’t we? I’m happy for any tips by the way. 

Finally, a little something to wet your appetite. 

Would you like to read a teaser from ‘The Fortune Seekers?’

Just looking for a few paragraphs now:- aha, here we go:-

Glennis Browne
The Prologue and Introduction to Part 2
 – setting the scene. As life in the 1850s was different to the 21st century…

Conformity

The formative years for Charlotte Mertons, as also was the case for Dan Mathews, were influenced by a strong church presence. In the 1850s, in Britain, most families were guided by the teaching of the various Christian churches.

The nonconformist Methodist churches in Clavering were as focused on controlling their congregations as the nonconformist churches had been in Wales.

Physical as well as spiritual health of the congregations is important. The intention is to encourage commendable behaviour, believed to ensure families within the congregation live wholesome lives. Many rules have been made regarding what a wholesome life is.

To achieve such, the population are encouraged to conform. This in itself is a challenge.

In the 1850s, a change of direction occurred regarding ‘marriage’ between first cousins, which deemed such marriages as ‘unwholesome’.

Prior to this, first cousins regularly married, as those of marriageable age were often confined within local villages. Finding a marriage partner was often limited to the only partner available, who might be a cousin.

With the increase in mobility of women, due to the growth of the railroad in England, women were no longer confined to their homes.

The population now socialised with non-relatives throughout the land. Marriage between first cousins naturally decreased.

At this time, Charles Darwin proposed a theory affecting first cousins who still wanted to become married.

Darwin, one of the Victorian population who had chosen to marry his first cousin, fathered a family of ten. Sadly, three died in childhood.

According to Darwin, the deaths were due to the close blood relationship between himself and his wife, by genetically passing on health issues.

The Methodists, who desire healthy, wholesome lives, supported Darwin’s philosophies after a very methodical and principled deliberation.

Decreeing: If ill health and physical imperfections are passed from parents to their children, and it follows imperfections will be more pronounced between first cousins. Therefore, the goal of reaching perfection, as God intends it, is unattainable.

From that time on, the betrothal of first cousins was no longer permitted within the church.

Another principle established was in regards to sexual relationships.

At the time, English statistics recorded women of lower socio-economic groups were becoming married on average at the age of twenty-six to twenty-eight years. A very high percentage producing a baby before nine months passes after the marriage ceremony.

What followed within the church was a doctrinal interpretation in regards to sexual relations before betrothal and marriage, regulating against such behaviour.

Unwed women known to have given birth to children out of wedlock were ultimately disgraced and accused of being ‘loose women’, branded by the church as sinners.

Children, born under these circumstances, were given the label of ‘bastard’. The children, born out of wedlock, carry this label all their lives due to their unknown or unregistered paternity.

Therefore, urgency to marry became important, as ongoing sexual relationships outside of marriage continued, producing many ‘illegitimate’ children.

With this background in mind, we go back in time to the middle of the 1850s.
..

Sorry, we won’t do that at this time. Wait for the book to be released in late June/early July to discover the story of heartbreak, hardship, love, lost love, emigration… And so much more.

See you next week, Glennis

https://glenniswritingabc.wordpress.com