I’m completely re-writing my novel, Devil’s Blood, at the moment. And I’ve tried really hard not to get distracted with other stuff. But while re-reading some of my old notes on what I needed to check for on the old novel, I came across a list of things to search for and destroy.
Things like: -ly adverbs, ‘as’ constructions, and passive sentences. Plus other big-ticket items like tying up some plot loose-ends, getting rid of a running joke in the book that nobody realized was a joke, and removing all the footnotes and transforming them into succinct phrases in the narrative. And I’m sure there are a bagillion other things that I need/needed to do.
Though this to-do list will still be somewhat valid after the re-write, I’ve kind of set it aside till I complete the re-write. Then, I plan to pull out the list again and go through the manuscript with my editor hat on (it’s a small hat).
But, why do all that? Why not just write prefect prose the first time round?
Well, we all know the answer to that question…because I can’t. If I could write perfectly the first time, I wouldn’t be blogging about the mechanics of writing. I’d be writing.
Anyway, sometimes all these nit-picky things get me down and I just ignore them and try to remember to just write. That was going pretty darn well until I got the latest Writer’s Digest e-newsletter.
In it, they had an article titled 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day. I thought – oh, that could be useful and clicked on the link.
Egads! The 25 things they list I don’t even have on my radar. Voice? Style? Flow? Damn it, people, I’m just trying not to confuse the reader. You expect style?
Don’t get me wrong, I was vaguely aware of all these things. These topics were mentioned in the few writing classes that I took, but I’ve been so focused on plot and getting my characters from point A to point B, I have put all those other things on the back burner. I figured all that stuff would just come. Out of thin air, I suppose.
After skimming the article, I realized there’s a lot more I have to work on, and one way for me to learn a concept is to write about it. So…guess what the next 25 posts will be about?
You guessed it! At irregular intervals, I’ll try to summarize the concepts presented in the article and attempt to apply the techniques or ideas to a few choice paragraphs in my novel.