|Show Don't Tell - Redundency||| Print ||
|Written by Christine Redding|
|Saturday, 01 October 2011 14:21|
Page 4 of 4
This bane of good writing also is a telling effect.
It is almost always the product of an uncertain writer trying to make damn sure the point gets across, or it is the precious writer who so loves his/her own creativity, that nothing must be eliminated, or the indecisive writer who simply can't decide which conveyance of information is the best.
These are the same writers who fall back on explaining and talking about their story, just to be sure the readers 'get it.'
Trust the reader. Readers are smart. They don't need explanations, if the writer has done the job right. They don't need several different ways to say the same thing.
She glared at him, threateningly, and he, seeing the anger in her eyes, stepped back.
That is too much.
She glared at him and he stepped back.
That's enough. The reader knows, sees, is ready to move on.
When you self-edit, explanations, passive voice, and redundancy--are all suspect, and like all suspects, they need to be questioned. Sometimes, they will not be inappropriate. Sometimes, they really are style, and not laziness or lack of skill.
But style is no excuse for sloppy writing technique. And waving that word at your editor is likely to get you some hard, skeptical looks, and gain you no points. Style does not have to be pointed out. Style is self-evident, consistant and suits the work in question: it does not need to be pointed out.
Wait... did I say... Self Edit?
Why, yes, I did! What's more, I meant it!
If you really want a publisher to look at your work, it is professional and courteous to make it as easy as possible for the publisher to comply.
Your story alone will never be good enough to make a publisher so hungry for it that he/she will patiently repair all those little faults of spelling, grammar, and punctuation that mark a first draft.
The Reader, the first person you must convince, wants to experience your skill, not just pick out the story among the stones. So proof-read your work. And never ever export that spell cheque will sea awl yore miss steaks.
Then, polish your work: check it for those subtle faults like passive voice, redundancy, and explanations. Take a good look at words you have invented to be sure their effect is what you want, and not just an unfortunate excess of creativity.
Oh, and please, please, do not imagine that 'orbs' has been a good or poetic substitution for 'eyes,' or the Sun, since Victoria's reign. Honestly, it wasn't even good then.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 08:30|