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.