Okay, so I’m not really writing the Neverending Story (I totally loved that movie as a kid. I still cry when Artec the horse sinks into the Swamp of Sadness!), however I AM starting to feel like I’m in a whirlpool of Neverending Editing.
During my short time as an amateur-writer-attempting-to-be-a-professional-author, I’ve visited so many great blogs and websites chock full of information on writing, publishing, etc. Most importantly I’ve met a few new writing friends along the way (Especially the lovely and extremely talented Ms. Nicole Hadaway. You can check out her awesome blog All Things Smart and Scary and also purchase a copy of her vampire-tastic book, Release, at ebookundead.com. But I digress.)
Through these new connections I have acquired lots of great advice and support. One of the things my good friend Nicole had made me aware of was my habit of “telling, not showing.” With her help in pointing out a few examples in my work I was able to enhance certain aspects by using the ever important rule of “showing, not telling.” However, it turns out I had only grasped a small portion of what she meant.
I had finally finished the FINAL EDITS of my manuscript a couple of days ago. I had done all I could with it – or so I thought. It was during a browsing session of the authors on the Paranormal Romance Junkie website (of which I am a member) that I stumbled upon an author/editor Kelly Abell who has a “Writing Tips for Writers” page. As I was perusing her tips I noticed she, too, spoke about the afore-mentioned cardinal rule. She breaks it down so far as to give you a list of words that are extreme NO-NOs when writing…..Most of which I use constantly. [insert gigantic sigh here]
So, needless to say, I started at the BEGINNING of my manuscript today and scanned through my sentences, searching for the ever-prominent No-No-Words (which, by the way are: felt, feeling, feel, was, were, see, saw, while, watched, watching, as, and noticed). They ran rampant through my story, and so, I spent all afternoon RE-editing the first 3 chapters. Only 27 more to go. Eesh.
However, the silver lining to this literary cloud is that by following the cardinal rule of “showing, not telling” I have tightened up my writing and brought the characters and scenes more to life than they were before my lunch this afternoon. So, in the end, I would like to thank my friend, Nicole, and the helpful (unbeknownst to her) Kelly Abell for teaching me an important lesson in the School of Fiction Writing.
I only wish I had fully grasped the concept a week ago before I ran through my novel with a fine-toothed comb. [sigh] C’est la vie, non? Until next time, my avid followers…