Honey, I Shrunk My MSS!

December 16, 2005 | It's All About Writing

Today is adjective day. Wait your turn you ‘that’whores until Monday. My sweet ‘and then’ gigilo, you have to wait for Tuesday. To everyone else reading here, I’ll explain on the above mentioned days about these insane people.

Adjectives are necesssary when you write, but they are a tool you must keep in control. They are best used in love scenes or when you need to soften the character’s thoughts or deeds.

Following is an example of what not to do;

Her hands were flying, tossing everything into the drawers.

It should read;

Her hands flew as she tossed the clothes into the drawers.

The new sentence is clearer and shows more action. Look on the bright side; your reader won’t stop mid-book to run for the toilet and it’s one less reason for the editor to send you the standard form rejection slip.

Go through your mss with a highlighter in a different color than you used for the adverbs. You’ll love the how pretty your pages look. I guarantee, unless you’ve had some serious 2×4 time, there will be an inordinate number of highlights.

Poor Beth just about pulled the last of her blonde hair out when she read my first draft with all the flowery crap. The dear hung in there and taught me to slowly read aloud, sentence by sentence, what I’d written. If the line was sing-song or gagable, it got a rewrite or the axe. Believe me, it won’t kill you to delete.

To thank her for all her hard work, and it was, I sent her a bouquet from the florist. The card was signed by ‘Ly’ and ‘Ing’. Her husband wasn’t happy and wanted to know, “Who the hell is this Ingly guy, and why’s he sending you flowers?”

Have a great week-end and I’ll be back Monday.


Add A Comment

3 Responses to “Honey, I Shrunk My MSS!”

  1. Sherrill Quinn Says:

    Sloane, you naughty thing. Making me wait until Monday. And I did so well, coming out yesterday.

    I should probably do it again, just so I don’t lose my nerve. (Deep breath) Hi. My name is Sherrill Quinn, and I am a THAT whore.

    LOL about the Ingly guy!

  2. For The Trees Says:

    With Sloane’s sense of humor, I don’t MIND waiting till Tuesday. But if I went through and took out all the “ing” and “ly” – PLUS all the adverbs – I’d be doing SHORT stories.

    But then again, maybe it would read better and I wouldn’t be so scared of sending a story off to a publisher…

    URSH. These decisions!! Maddening. Totally. And then actually demeaning. WHOA! SLOANE!! DON’T HIT ME!! I’LL BE GOOD! REALLY, I WILL! (runs for the door…although not very fast with keyboard and monitor in hand…)

  3. Sloane Says:

    You are both going to be beat with The Board. Now behave yourselves, children, and no poison apples for the teacher.