Friday, May 13, 2011

Writing a Book – Never Was

Well, almost never.

I wish I could remember where I got this advice so I could forward you the article, but it was during the whirlwind of April and the a-z madness so I forgot.

It’s basically like this, read this sentence:

It was so windy she was breathless.

Now compare that with this sentence:

The wind tangled through her hair and ran its icy fingers across her face, threatening to pull the breath right out of her lungs.

Was is weak. Take a look at a few paragraphs of your WIP. How many was’s (or is’s) do you see? I stunned myself when I first looked at mine. I have replaced a ton of them with stronger, more descriptive language and verbs. A few are fine, but I remember the advice saying "was" should be used for less intense scenes. Use forceful, creative words for showing – "was" is for telling.

2 comments:

Cathy said...

Uh oh! Gotta go back and take a look at the WIP! Great advice, Tara. Thanks!!

Tara Tyler said...

hope it helps us both!