Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

Hi everyone, as you probably know the first Wednesday of the month we share our insecurities or offer suggestions that might be helpful to authors. Please be sure to stop by to see what everyone is worried about this month.
Fortunately, I don't have new worries this month so I'll share something that might be helpful to authors.

I belong to Deb Hockenberry's children's book critique group. Deb is an editor and her first picture book will be released very soon. She reminded her group members recently about not using "to be" verbs; am, is, are, was, were, been. Of course, we can't always avoid them, but we can replace them in most cases.  Here are some examples:
Mary wanted to be a great dancer.  (passive voice with to-be verb)
 Instead: Mary's dreamed of becoming a great dancer. or Mary wanted to become a great dancer.
My friend was the driver of the truck. 
Instead try:My friend drove the truck.
He struggled to write the paper that was assigned by the famous professor.
Instead try: He struggled with the assignment from the famous professor.
Her eyes were blue and sparkling.
Her blue eyes sparkled with excitement or Her blue eyes sparkled.

It takes some practice to create better sentences with more action, but I think you'll find it's worth the effort. It's something I'm always trying to remember  and improve on.
I hope this helps you write amazing stories.

My answer to this month's question: How do you know your story is ready?
You don't, but if you've revised and revised it might be ready. Have your beta reader's looked at it? Have you taken a few days off and not looked at it and then gone back to reread it?
If you've done all those things, I'd say you're as prepared as possible.
What do you think?

copyright: 2016: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

1 comment:

  1. When I'm revising, I'm always on the lookout for those passive verbs. I rewrite as many as I can.

    That's about my take on whether or not a story is ready, too.