Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day One

Presently I am working on the sequel to The Vanishing Sculptor. This one is The Wandering Artist.
I'm on chapter 19; word count is 32,519.
Writer's Tip: writing tighter. Eliminating verbosity for clearer meaning and/or smoother reading.

First draft of the sentence:

Tipper gritted her teeth against the pain that shot from her foot, up her shin, and beyond her knee.

Edited version:

Tipper gasped as the pain shot from her foot, up her shin, and beyond her knee.

The red flag in the original sentence is the word "that." As soon as I saw "that," I knew to reread and rewrite if possible. A writer does not have to eradicate all "thats" from her work, but it is good to see if the sentence would benefit from rephrasing. I switched from "gritted her teeth" to "gasped" not because I wanted fewer words but because I acted out in my mind what reaction I would have to the first time I took a step on an injured foot. I would grit my teeth on the second step. On the first, I would be surprised by the severity of the pain.


  1. I love the idea for this blog, Mrs. Paul. I'm following! =)

  2. Yep, that is right. Word's like "that" are a red flag. :)

  3. I am going to follow your blog because I learn so much in just 5 minutes! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and expertise with us.

  4. That makes perfect sense! I'm a new writer, so I need all the tips I can get! It really make absolute sense, I'll just have to remember to consider how I would react to a sertian scenario before I type my characters reactions.

    Thanks Mrs. Paul!!

  5. Thanks to all of you for stopping by.

  6. Mrs. Paul, thank you for this blogsite. I am a homeschooling mom, wantabe author, trying to tighten my story. I'm reading sections of Dragon Keeper over again to help me drop the 'as' and 'when' from my sentences. I'm starting, here, at day one to read through all of your tips. They are a lightstone in the darkness of words.