Last Week’s WW: Narrative and Style
Sorry that this is a day late. I meant to post yesterday, but I sat down to finish my edits and formatting on Otherworlders, and wound up at my computer until 5am. By that point, I was a bit tired and cranky and just ready to be done for the day.
If you have a project, I highly recommend getting an editor.
I can’t imagine how impossible it would have been to do all that work myself. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have been able to. There’s just still many technical things that I’m not skilled enough to know or I am too close to my project to see.
I sent mine off and when it came back it was beautiful. But that doesn’t mean that I was done with it.
The first thing that I did was have my Siri read it to me while I read along. They say that reading your work outloud is the best way to know if there are any mistakes and to see if it flows well.
Well, I preferred to have it read to me. That way, I wasn’t stumbling over anything accidentally or reading what I intended to be there, rather than what was.
It worked out. The book sounded great, but there were still a few catches here and there.
Then, I took it a step farther. I used a site that I found to help me with spelling/grammar, one final check since I don’t have Word. The website definitely has it’s issues. It’s hyphen happy, sometimes assumes that you meant a different word, or misreads a phrase. But, it has it’s upside, too. You just have to understand things well enough to know when to listen to the advice and when not to. Why do I mention this site at all? Because it helped me out with passive sentences. It showed me which ones where wrong, and on some occasions, why. And I think that made my writing stronger.
Below are some examples of things that I learned while doing line edits. (not just from that site, but overall, including being read to by Siri)
Yea = yay, not yeah.
Than = comparison
Then = something to do with time, or consequence (if/then).
Clinch = fix or secure by bending down or flattening the end that protrudes.
Clench = to close or grip tightly
Making sentences tighter and not passive:
(the bottom is the correct/better form)
He was excited by this news.
This news excited him.
Tomas removed a small piece of glass from under their blanket. It was stained red with past blood.
Tomas removed a small piece of blood stained glass from under their blanket.
The colorful seal from the office of the President was stamped at the bottom.
Stamped at the bottom was the colorful seal from the office of the President.
The first time that Chase had found him in this position he feared the worst. He had rushed over to check and make sure that Levi had not been harmed. He was relieved to see that he was still sound, just wallowing.
The first time that Chase had found him in this position he feared the worst, rushed over to make sure that Levi had not been harmed, and was relieved to see that he was only wallowing.
He was never a great socializer, but he made himself even more secluded these days.
He was never a great socializer, but he secluded himself even more these days.
The greatest flow of the stream seemed to be to the left.
To the left was where the flow of the stream seemed strongest.
Arriving at the base, and waiting for the sun to finish its descent, he crouched by the base of the fence.
Arriving at the compound, he crouched by the base of the fence and waited for the sun to finish its descent.
He replaced the tool and waited, recalling the layout and maps he had been shown.
He replaced the tool and recalled the layout.
The perimeter of the series of buildings was surrounded by towering chain link with barbed wire crowning it.
A barbed wire crowned, towering chain link fence surrounded the perimeter of the buildings.
It was heavier than he had expected. It caused him to be hunched and slow, but he was still able to carry it.
It was heavier than he had expected, causing him to hunch over and move slow.
Some drawers opened with a whoosh of cold, cloudy air being released into the room. The vapor in the gray room dissipated quickly. The cabinets on this wall were refrigerated.
He found that some drawers were refrigerated, opening with a whoosh of cold, cloudy air. The vapor in the gray room dissipated quickly.