Shadow frames the light

A fresh author's journey to actualization.

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Dave Cline of Virginia, Alaska, Colorado, California, Utah and Oregon

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An editor initiated ass-kicking

+Duncan McGeary

I've just had my first ass-kicking by an editor -- and it was glorious!

I can't believe how much I learned. And continue to learn from her edits and comments.

For instance, I had this document that I compiled over time -- just to feed my need of creative "said" and "asked" replacements:

When, little did I know, one should rarely replace said and asked. If you find yourself doing so -- then perhaps you just haven't "shown" how the character is reacting or behaving.

Additionally, passive voice -- boy, what a bugaboo. So often I had reduced the impact of my actions with passive voice. Ugh! what a mind warp it was to change how I envisioned action.

Other things were more mundane, like mixing character dialog and action in the same paragraph. Or redundant action ("she screamed loudly"), or more than one "ing" in a sentence (how can anyone be sawing and splitting at the same time?)

Anyway, I'm a changed writer now. I've got an editor who is willing to correct me and patient enough to watch me struggle. I have become the padwan learner.