Fiction writers, so focused on creation of dynamic manuscripts with fascinating characters, sparkling dialogue, and plots that twist and turn, often fail to pay close attention to basic writing mechanics. As a result, their work can be filled with excessive adjectives, adverbs, and "red-flag" words . . . not quite ready for prime time and destined to head for delete-ville.
Prevent this from happening by practicing the following exercise to discover writing mechanic issues in your work that need to be revised prior to submission.
If you meet with a critique/writing group, enlist your pals to help you discover the major "red-flag" words that can identify you as a writing rookie.
(What? You aren't part of a critique group? Why the heck not?)
Here's how it works:
Ask your writing pals to bring their first three manuscript pages (double-spaced), along with yellow, pink, and blue highlighter pens to your next meeting.
Then, swap manuscripts. Why? Because it's difficult to be objective looking at words you've written/re-written over and over and over and . . . .
Begin with an adjective search. Yellow-highlight them.
Then, adverbs. Hint: most adverbs end with "ly." Pink-highlight them.
And finally, look for and blue-highlight "was" and the word that follows it.
This enjoyable exercise helps everyone "up the ante," and elevate their writing skills without stress. I'm a big proponent of incorporating fun and learning, especially when it comes to group exercises. All writers (myself included) tend to become overly self-critical and uptight as we revise, tighten, and polish our work. Laughter helps us lighten up during the rite-of-passage from rookie to pro . . . from writer to author.
Bring revised pages to your next meeting. Repeat the "coloring" exercise and compare versions. Your revised pages will be less rainbow-kissed than the originals. Celebrate your progress with ice cream, pizza, or brownies, or all three!
Just to be completely clear: "Color Me Grammatically Correct" is a group exercise, not a suggestion for you to print out your manuscript and highlight away. That would be crazy making! Instead, use the technique (described below) to help mature your work and maintain your sanity at the same time.
BTW: My 7-page tutorial identifies the 35 worst "red-flag" words and weak verbs that may infect your query, synopsis, and manuscript. It includes a unique Search-Mark-Revise process to make locating and removing these rascals stress-free as possible. 7 page tutorial for $7 bucks. Such a deal! Available at MolliMart.
If you’d like to re-post any of my blogs, help yourself. Please reference the source as: Molli Nickell. THE Publishing Wizard at www.getpublishednow.biz