Update on my edits in progress. I have finished the ‘ing’ and ‘ly’ search and yesterday I added a little over two pages to chapter one. I introduced Rama Muhammad as my heroine’s best friend and gifted pianist. Most of the exchange was dialogue between Rama and Missie to emphasize their friendship and mutual interest in music as well as to discuss a disturbing incident that Missie had with her Professor earlier in the chapter. Rama has the same Professor. I think I nailed it. The next step is to resubmit to my editor and also to my online critique group to see if this addition defines, in a positive light, more of Missie’s personality. If all goes well you may be lucky enough to see chapter one posted here over several days. I’m a big chicken, so that will be extra hard for me.
I want to thank Mohamed Mughal for submitting Rama’s name in my contest last week. She makes a great addition.
Questions and Answers:
Kay Theodoratus and Dominic asked questions last week and I thought I would answer them.
What criteria do you use to determine which –ing and –ly words are acceptable and which need to be changed?
To know which ‘ing’ and ‘ly’ words to change is a gut feeling. First there are some words that don’t have an alternative like the word, nothing. It would take to many words, more than likely an entire sentence to replace this one word. If nothing is gained why change it.
Second and more important; when you look at the entire sentence you can determine if changing either or both adverbs that end in ‘ing’ or ‘ly’ will strengthen the sentence, mood, description etc. Most of the time the sentence will improve. Sometimes the sentence will only change. (The word ‘only’is another word that is hard to change).
Here is an example:
Rippling biceps belying his undyingly brave courage began to subside into fear and knowingly he became angry toward the massing people.
He lifted the 200 lb. weight. His biceps rippled. A crowd gathered to gawk and his fear of rejection turned to anger. Yet beneath the surface he remained brave.
Okay, I invented that terrible sentence to make a point and I know the two don’t jive exactly…but I think it is clear which is the better group of sentences.
You may not write so many adverbs strewn together; in fact I hope you don’t. But even two in one sentence or multiple of these adverbs on one manuscript page will label you as an amateur in today’s market. Don’t let this create a stumbling block in your first draft. Write that first draft and edit later.
As my editor said to me. Think of these words like a strong spice. I added. Too much will spoil the dish and not enough will leave it bland. You want two per page. Sometimes more is acceptable.
Kay Theodoratus said...
Have you thought of a blog that gives the reasons you chose Kindle over the other formats?
Kindle is just a first step. I chose it because Amazon is number one and I’d like to get recognition, sales, etc. But I am not limiting myself to Kindle. I hope to have my story available through other e-formats as well as a paper copy through CreateSpace.
Do you have any other questions for me? Let it rip.