I had my monthly writing group last night and had a bit of a flogging. Flogging really isn’t the right word, as all the group members are soooo friendly and are just trying to make my writing better. However, it was clear I do have some work to do.
Most of the suggestions have to do with the use of the word “was”. It’s too passive. For example I could write the following
Art was walking down the path when he tripped on a log and did a faceplant in the mud.
Or I could write
Walking down the path, Art tripped on a log, his face planting in the mud.
Obviously, the second sentence is more exciting. Except it’s not that obvious when I’m reading my own writing. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of obvious. Non-obvious?
Again, this is why I’m so grateful I’ve found this group. They can see the things in my writing I cannot. In fact, I’m not sure if would’ve even thought of this on my own.
I think my next course of action is to open my story in Microsoft Word (or OpenOffice Writer) and do a conditional highlighting to highlight all the occurrences of the word “was” or “were” and replace them using the technique above. That should be interesting.
Anyhow, they tell me my writing is improving and that they are interested in reading the rest of the story. I’m excited to read the rest of the story, too, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to re-write it. In fact, I don’t think it will be done before this year’s NaNoWriMo. Oh well, the cycle continues 🙂