The First 50 Pages – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is The First 50 Pages . Originally posted on Aug 13, 2016 12:34 PM. The reason I’m revisiting is that it’s easy to forget how important it is to have them ready and perfected when you query Literary agents or even independent publishers.

the first 50 pages

“Drop and give me fifty!”
“Yes sir!”
“The first 50 Pages of your manuscript that is.”

Guess what? They are the most important. Who knew? I didn’t.  I did, but not in the context that the pages will make or break the deal. That’s why my first sentence ever written, isn’t the first sentence you will read, it’s not even the second sentence.

When they say put your best foot forward, they mean it. To apply to literary agents I need to submit a Synopsis, Query letter and the first 50 pages(Or less as I’ve discovered) of the manuscript. There are of course books written about how to make your first 50 stand out or to rise above the slush-pile.

(I have since learned that the most important part of the pages is the first sentence, followed by the first paragraph and first page. The first chapter must grab the readers attention above all else. If the Agent can’t get past the first page or isn’t “Sucked in” then the rest doesn’t matter. If the book is exciting on page five, then start on page five. This was a hard lesson learned the hard way.)

As odd as this is, it’s nerve-wracking(It’s still nerve-wracking.) To know I’m so close to putting it out there to be judged and hopefully loved(Loved by my beta readers, but not Literary Agents.) The trick is not to freak out about it despite the mini drill sergeant that lives in my brain yelling for me to check it again, and again. I like it, so someone else is bound to. (It’s good to know when to just go for it. I thought I was ready. I was not. I am now learning about critique partners and responsive Beta-readers. I’ll get into these another time.)

I have revised the first 50 pages more than any other part of my book. Not only for the Literary Agents but also for the readers. If it’s not interesting, exciting or fun nobody is going to read further. For the past couple of weeks(Years ago), my mind has strayed to chapter 2 and 3. They were originally chapter 1 and 2 until I added a much needed more exciting chapter 1. My problem was this. They were written first, my first ever two chapters and quickly after that, my style changed. Sure they fit in fine but there was something about 2 and 3 that seemed slow. They were almost the same scenario from two perspectives.

Two days ago(It’s now been years), I had the brilliant idea to meld them together. Pull out the repetitive crap and make one solid chapter. It came out longer than I liked, but still within a reasonable length for a single chapter. Once I put the two together, it made more sense. I knew something was wrong and now I’m glad I paid attention to my gut nagging to change them.

I will read it over again today(years ago) and probably once more tomorrow. I have a few people reviewing it for me for constructive opinions. Then I will start the process of working with a consultant. (I did work with a consultant. I found I paid money for some good advice, but I now know I was pandered to a little. I did not get the critique I was looking for. after 100% rejection I set it aside for some other projects to come back and revisit when I had some more experience.)

(Since I wrote this I’ve re-written the first 50 pages of BiaAtlas twice. I am now on a full novel re-write. This is a good thing. I have more experience and I know a heck of a lot more than I did when I wrote this post.)

My advice about the first 50 pages.

Make sure they are clean, edited, well written and interesting. It is a fine line between writing to please someone else and writing to please yourself. I have set down a book because I can’t get past the first few chapters, so I don’t want to be that writer, and yet I know others that rave it’s the best book they’ve ever read. You can’t please everyone so make sure it pleases yourself. It’s your book after all. (I would add that the first 50 is the bare minimum to have professionally edited. I did and I’m glad I invested. Those are the frontline of your story they must be perfect. I’m sorry to say to those that believe they can edit and perfect it after they get an agent. You can’t there are so many other writers pitching queries that you are on in a million and within that million, you’re just one. BiaAtlas got 100% rejection because it wasn’t ready to be queried. I am re-writing it now hoping to alter it enough and correct the errors that I can pitch it again.)

-Sheryl

 

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Adjective Instead Of An Adverb – Grammar #5

Adjective Instead Of An Adverb

If you missed a previous post on Grammar, simply click on the purple crossed-out title in the list below to see that post.

Within Grammar here are the most common issues I had in my story:

1. Missing Article .
2. 
Redundant preposition .
3. 
Confused preposition .
4. 
Object instead of a subject pronoun .
5. Adjective instead of an adverb
6. Wrong article with set expression
7. Incorrect use of progressive tense
8. Incorrect noun form

 

Adjective instead of an adverb. I had a lot of these little beasts pop up, some are punctuation errors others are me simply being me.

Adjectives only modify nouns and pronouns.
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. An adverb is needed if you are describing when, where, or how.

I know what you’re going to say Adverbs? Really didn’t Steven King say “The road to hell is paved with adverbs?” Yes, they are not to be used all the time, but some sentences and instances require them. Sometimes the sentence flow or message needs an adverb. While it’s good to limit (Severely limit) the use of them.

I’m totally okay with some Adverbs in dialogue because people use them in dialogue every day.

Now let’s look at my mistakes from my draft of Prophecy Ink.

grammar5

In my head, fresh worked, however, it’s in narrative so perfect grammar is necessary. The correction does sound much better.

We ordered simple cups of freshly brewed coffee.

The following are four more examples from my draft along with the suggested changes.

grammar6

I’ll break them down and show how I would change them if not the exact suggestion and why.

IncorrectGood tell them if they see us to leave us alone.”

I didn’t want to change it to: “Well tell them if they see us to leave us alone.” That isn’t how this character would talk. I wanted her to say ‘good’ so in this case, it was a punctuation problem a simple comma fixed the problem.

Winner:  “Good, tell them if they see us to leave us alone.”

Here is the next example.

Incorrect “That explains why you woke frantic.”

Correct “That explains why you woke frantically.”

Now I don’t like the ‘correct’ version it doesn’t feel right, so I changed the sentence altogether.

Winner:  “That explains why you were frantic when you woke.”

Not great for reducing word count but this sounds and reads much better.

Incorrect I sat quiet the entire time.

Correct I sat quietly the entire time.

Now there is a grammar error for incorrect adverb placement so it will be changed to this:

Correct I sat the entire time quietly.

That second correction was perfect. It didn’t change the sentence meaning and is proper grammar.

Incorrect It was odd paired with cheese.

Correct It was oddly paired with cheese.

I don’t like either, to be honest. My original or the suggested correction. I think I may have taken this out entirely. But if I were to correct it, here it is.

Winner: It was an odd thing to pair with cheese.  

Revision can be tedious, but when I find a crap sentence and I can make it shine or simplify and correct it, I know it is making my story better.

My advice about Adjective instead of an adverb:

Sometimes one word needs to be changed, and it makes the sentence perfect. Sometimes it shows that the entire sentence is lackluster and could use a bit of polishing up. If I keep them it’s either in dialogue or absolutely necessary to the quality of the sentence. 

-Sheryl

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Failure Is Giving Up

Failure Is Giving Up (1)

Failure Is Giving Up

I did something today (Technically yesterday) that I’ve never done before. I reached out to the Twitterverse for beta readers on a short story I wrote.

I can honestly say it was hard to stay equanimous . as I clicked on the tweet button. I had a lovely response from some fellow writers who offered to be honest. I have no idea what I’m in for. Maybe they’ll like it, love it or think it’s a steaming pile of dung. Who knows? I do know that I took a chance on something new.

I’ve just recently started dabbling in short stories. I find them difficult to execute. Cramming in a beginning, middle and end in under 3000 words. Yiikes. I’m a wordy person. Thankfully I’ve learned a lot about revising and honing down sentences to get value from what I write.

I’ll be submitting this story to a contest(even if my beta-buddies despise it) Then to keep myself real and honest, I’ll post said story once that contest closes. I’m not worried about losing, because I’m trying. Losing to me would be if I don’t try if I give up and never take chances. I can never truly fail if I never stop trying. Sure I have my ups and downs emotionally and mentally, this is a hard world to live in. Putting my hard work out there for the world to see is nerve-wracking and stressful. 

I don’t mind if the story is liked or not because I wrote it, It is something I accomplished and finished. I like the story and there is always room for improvement, I am not perfect. If I get constructive feedback I can fix or polish the story. I value and appreciate the time these readers are giving me and will take any advice or comments they offer.

Brain and Heart are hilarious and I want the stuffies. I saw this comic on a twitter post and wanted to share just how appropriate it is for anyone who is working hard and creating something they are proud of. Click on the comic to visit theawkwardyeti.com

My advice about failure:

heart and brain

Brain and Heart are hilarious and I want the stuffies. I saw this comic on a twitter post and wanted to share just how appropriate it is for anyone who is working hard and creating something they are proud of. Click on the comic to visit theawkwardyeti.com

 

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Shut Your Cake Hole – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is Shut Your Cake Hole . Originally posted on Sep 5, 2016 11:50 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that it’s easy to let a character run their mouth, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

Cake

Shut your cake hole

Blabbermouths are common in the real world. To your face or behind your back. So why not put them in the story? I love a good jerk, the one that makes you grip the book a little harder and hope they get their comeuppance or feel bad for what they’ve done. Whether they know they are loudmouth squealer or not, doesn’t matter. That they stir the pot does matter. A proper bigmouth can change the game and save a floundering storyline.

Here is a little tidbit of mine from a work in progress: (Unrevised version, but it still gets the point across.)

“Good morning Nell, Wendy.” Hank smiled and sat at the meeting room table.
“Oh good morning Hank.” Wendy gushed. She had no problem flirting with the unnaturally handsome Hank. “How was your weekend?”
As usual, Nell sat quietly since Wendy cut off any chance of casting Hank a greeting. Hank finished his tales of golf, beer and a spontaneous trip to the beach without a glance toward Nell. “How about yours, Wendy?”
“Ah same ole, same ole.” She waved her hand. “Now Nell had quite the adventure.” Her sly tone was devastating.
There was zero chance Hank would drop the subject. Nell shot her a what-the-hell look. She knew better than to confide in her friend but did it anyway.
“Oh really.” He slid his gaze to Nell. “Do tell, what could Nell possibly do that has her redder than your blouse Wendy?”
“She had a hot date.” Wendy ignored Nell’s kick to her leg. “Like really hot.” Wendy fanned herself.
Hank tilted his head staring at Nell. She was quiet, mousy and barely noticeable on a good day. All work and no play. Usually. “With whom?”
“Wendy.” Nell’s clenched teeth made her plea to shut up, louder than she meant. The last thing she wanted was Hank, of all people to laugh at her. “Please don’t.”
“Now I have to know.” Hank chuckled.
“She and Barry from accounting went to Point Garrison beach yesterday. Apparently, it has an amazing view.” Wendy waggled her eyebrows.
Nell’s cheeks drained of all color as he smiled broadly, understanding that he was the view.

(In this instance Nell is too shy to say much to the handsome Hank. Wendy’s plan wasn’t clear, did she do this to tease Nell? Did she play matchmaker on purpose or by accident? It all depends on Wendy’s character or who she will be. There was no reason to outline Wendy’s true intentions here, subtlety is key.)

My advice about Chatterboxes.
Use them. Make them make your story tantalizing or spice up a dull storyline. Someone spilling the proverbial beans can start a good conflict. I like to use it as an opportunity to let(or force) someone behave outside their comfort zone. (These types of characters don’t always have to say a lot, they can say little and still be blabbermouths.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 

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Object Instead Of A Subject Pronoun – Grammar #4

I know the title of this blog is a big mouthful. If you missed a previous post on Grammar, simply click on the purple crossed-out title in the list below to see that post.

Within Grammar here are the most common issues I had in my story:

1. Missing Articles .
2. 
Redundant preposition .
3. 
Confused preposition .
4. Object instead of a subject pronoun
5. Adjective instead of an adverb
6. Wrong article with set expression
7. Incorrect use of progressive tense
8. Incorrect noun form

 

Object instead of a subject pronoun. I guess I should start by explaining what this is. A subject personal pronoun such as; she, he, you, we, it, I and they. They are the subject of the sentence, clause subject or subject complement. The object(direct, indirect or the object of a preposition) of a sentence is; her, him, us, it, them, you and me. I think it’s easier to understand through examples. I think they are easy to spot and these are the ones that are often used in writing as ways a mother or teacher ‘nags’ a child.

Generic examples:

Incorrect Tony and me will attend the wedding.
Correct Tony and I will attend the wedding.

Incorrect The rule says that them are to be collected.
Correct The rule says that they are to be collected.

I only had one of these to use as an example from Prophecy Ink.

grammar4

Here is where I always say to use a grammar program with caution. The grammar isn’t the issue here. it’s punctuation.

I would rewrite this sentence even though wondered is a ‘filter word’. If I allowed myself to keep this sentence it would look like this now:

Fresh guilt bubbled over as I wondered why me.

Without the filter, word wondered or wonder, which is overused in writing.

The words ‘why me’ repeated in my mind as fresh guilt bubbled over inside me.

When read aloud these are clear to see. Still, sometimes I mix them up, probably because I don’t have anyone nagging me about I versus me.

My advice about object instead of a subject pronoun:

It really is a mouthful for a tiny error. Look carefully before fixing it to make sure the sentence still makes sense. Don’t forget to watch out for those pesky filter words.

-Sheryl

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Silliness And Seriousness – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is Silliness And Seriousness . Originally posted on Aug 20, 2016 11:48 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that it’s easy to forget to let a character in a crap situation have some fun.

Silliness And Seriousness

Silliness And Seriousness

She envied their innocence, longing to go back to when a scraped knee was the most stressful part of the day. ‘Don’t rush to grow up.’ Her mom had said it often. As a young adult, she understood the wisdom of those words too late.©

This character is often being silly and doing things that are typically something a child might do. Why? because growing up doesn’t mean dismissing the essence of Youth completely. She herself is young, yet old enough to see and understand the worldly restraints of adulthood. Life will punch her in the teeth and kick her when she’s down, yet she will hold onto the things that make her and others smile. Joy in life, the shadows of youth that keep her from losing herself in an already too serious world.  She doesn’t see herself this way, but others in the story do.

I wrote her this way to allow for a humor break from the drama, danger, and violence. It gives a great opportunity for character interaction. The overly serious and stoic friend might find her enthusiasm annoying. He may or may not comment on it. He could find it charming and pay more attention to her. Or it could get her into trouble when she needs to focus. (Having a strong personality trait is important for the main characters IMO, it allows for growth one way or another.)

In my life, I have come across adults who range from silly and carefree to starchy and unendingly serious. The diversity of maturity is present in the real world so I put it in my characters. (People watching is a wealth of information. People are random. I love seeing how different people react to the same thing.)

My advice about being silly or serious.

Everyone was young once, even an adult character in a book. Who they were is who they are. Silliness and seriousness have their place, I don’t think it always has to be the obvious one. (Still true, I would add that every character needs a sliding scale of silliness and seriousness. Nobody is 100% one way. A man who never laughs at jokes or silly antics may howl at puns or “Dad jokes.” Don’t forget to have some fun.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

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The FAB Pencil – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is The FAB Pencil . Originally posted on Sep 6, 2016 10:26 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that this is good practice and can be fun.

The FAB Pencil

The FAB Pencil

What’s so FAB about it? It’s just a lame pencil.

Or is it? I have gone through some nifty retail sales training. You know the kind that teaches you to sell your soul to the devil to make the sale. Up-sell, up-sell, up-sell.

I no longer wonder how they do it, how they smoothly transition you from buying the watch to including the warranty, the battery replacement program, the matching belt and shiny new car. I don’t wonder, because I know.

FAB Feature Advantage Benefit. Oddly, this applies nicely to describing something in writing. The lesson is to take an ordinary item say… a super lame ordinary No.2 pencil and show the customer something they can see, touch or smell about it. Then explain the advantage of the feature and smoothly move into how it benefits the customer.

The feature: it has No.2 lead
The advantage: No.2 writes smoothly
The benefit: consistent writing

Feature: built-in eraser
Advantage: erases efficiently
Benefit: saves time having to search for an eraser

F: seamless wood design
A: easy to sharpen
B: no slivers or sharp bits

F: bright yellow paint
A: easy to see
B: hard to lose

These things seem obvious, right? Maybe, but now they are clearly stuck in your head. How does this apply to describe items in a story? If you give a purpose to an item then it makes sense. If it’s horribly random then its distracting to the reader. If anything, it will help give an object depth. Even a yawn-worthy pencil. I do this with items my characters interact with that are important or interesting.

Sasha plopped the yellow pencil’s eraser end in her mouth. Scrunching her face she removed it instantly. The rubbed-rubber taste turned her stomach and reminded her of the party she went to instead of studying. She set the flattened tip to the paper to mark her answer. Only to rub it out second-guessing herself again.

Sasha jumped when the bell rang. She stared wide-eyed at the paper, a test failed before it was marked. Less than half the questions answered. Gripping the smooth pencil in her hands, she tightened her grip, snapping the light wood easily.

(I did a few edits on this one, the grammar was lacking and I was even missing a word. Just goes to show with a lot of practice and effort we grow and learn more every day.)

My advice about describing things.
Instead of just blurting out what it is with a standard ‘it’s blue’ description, dig deeper and see what it has to offer the user then the interaction between the object and user is more fluid. Be cautious that you don’t go overboard describing an item to the point of excess. Less is more. (I would now add Less is more, if that less is quality.)

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

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Confused Preposition – Grammar #3

Confused Preposition

As I edit and revise my writing I come across mistakes. Some are ones I know are simply typos and some are mistakes that I know are wrong but not why they’re wrong.  If you missed a previous post on Grammar, simply click on the purple crossed-out title in the list below to see that post.

Within Grammar here are the most common issues I had in my story:

1. Missing Article .
2.
Redundant preposition .
3. Confused preposition
4. Object instead of a subject pronoun
5. Adjective instead of an adverb
6. Wrong article with set expression


7. Incorrect use of progressive tense
8. Incorrect noun form

 

In the last post, I featured Redundant preposition. In this post, I’m going to confuse things a bit with a confused proposition.

Confused prepositions are words that are incorrect in the context and though in the writer’s mind it may read just fine, the reader might be confused by what is trying to be expressed.

Here are two generic examples before I get to the ones I made in my draft.

Incorrect The store is in the far side of the street.
Correct The store is on the far side of the street.

Incorrect Anne ran in the hall to get away from Curt.
Correct Anne ran into the hall to get away from Curt.

Here are some I found. Now when I go through my draft I often find ‘grammar’ errors that point me toward a larger problem. Sometimes the error doesn’t need to be fixed, the entire sentence does.

grammar3.jpg

This sentence is out of context. She is rubbing a painful mark on her arm. However, changing it to the ‘suggested’ correction of ‘on’ completely changes the sentence and now it wouldn’t fit in.  “I rubbed it through my shirt.” Now could be read as rubbing something literally through the shirt. I ended up changing this one altogether. ‘I rubbed my arm that is covered by my shirtsleeve.’

Incorrect I got up and looked out to the open office area.
Correct I got up and looked out at the open office area.

That makes sense so I kept the suggested correction. On to example number two.

Incorrect I was rolled to my back.
Correct I was rolled onto my back.

Again the correction made sense and so I kept it. Here is another:

Incorrect Years if I’m honest to myself.
Correct Years if I’m honest with myself.

I have no idea how I put ‘to’ there instead of ‘with’… I’m shaking my head on that one. Here is my last example:

Incorrect He gestured for me to walk with him around the crowd.
Correct He gestured for me to walk with him through the crowd.

The “correct” statement here is actually incorrect given what is actually happening. They are avoiding the crowd and walked around it. I did change this if only because the sentence is super awkward. Another moment of a grammar error pointing out a much larger problem. Around is actually the wrong word since around suggests they went around it but no destination was given so around and around they go for no purpose.

Winner: Karl gestured for me to follow him to avoid the crowd.

 

My advice about confused prepositions:

Nobody likes to be confused, especially in a sentence. Take the opportunity to look at an error more broadly and see if the problem isn’t just one word that needs to be fixed, how is the rest of the sentence?

-Sheryl

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Switch It Up, And Swap It Out. – Throwback Thursday Style #TBT

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and that means I’m going to post a throwback from my earlier posts. Essentially a re-post of an old archived post with new notes and observations. 

tbt 3

Anything added(except grammar and spelling corrections) are marked in blue within the original Post’s text. 

The next post I’m going to revisit is, Switch It Up, And Swap It Out . Originally posted on Sep 2, 2016, 8:53 AM. The reason I’m revisiting is that this was one of my favorite posts and it’s still relevant.

melody

Switch It Up, And Swap It Out.

“If you don’t read it, you will never know how it all begins and how it ends. Not to mention all the good stuff in the middle.” -SLM

I have been talking a lot about emotions and making people feel them in my writing. People run on emotions so putting them in writing is important as long as it doesn’t become eye-rolling melodramatic. I read a book recently that made me bawl my eyes out. The kicker is that the story that made me so upset wasn’t even about the main characters. It was a side story of characters not even active in the book. Awesome.

Recently a friend told me she became emotional and teary at a scene in my book she is proofing. I told her that was a huge compliment. Am I sorry she cried? No, because eliciting emotions is what I strive for. (Since this I’ve written more stories and my current one Prophecy Ink has received reviews that it brought out feelings for and toward characters.)

Sometimes the obvious isn’t, just as the subtle can be blatant. Even if I know what is coming, maybe I don’t. I have had moments when I’m writing when all of a sudden I look at the screen and I think, holy that would be crazier if… And then I change it up. Sometimes it’s a character swap, something designed for someone would be more impactful for another. Other times it’s a scene change. The library was the scenario but I swap it out for a dog treat bakery. If it can lead to a better conversation or something funny, I tend to lean to the unusual.

This example is not from my book, but from a collection of bits and pieces for another.

Side by side, Yava, and Theo lay facing each other, the melodious sound of Mary Lou Williams softly filling the small sterile room. It has been a day since Yava last spoke; too weak for words.
“They say, my love, that your entire life flashes before your eyes.” Theo brushed a stray wisp of white hair from her cheek with a shaky hand. “The days of youth, the pesky teens, dancing the night away, your first kiss, your first love.”
The corner of Yava’s mouth curled and relaxed.
Theo sighed softly. “Ah the wedding, making love, all those crazy kids. The fights and makeup sex. The cool nights and days in the sun. Our kids growing up, moving out and getting married. All the wee grandbabies have grown up. Some with their own tots.”
Tears pooled in her eyes and her lips pressed tightly together.
“Oh my love, my Yava, we have lived, truly lived have we not?”
“Yes, Theo darling.” She let her unchecked tears fall to the pillow. “No life has been filled as much as ours.” She rubbed her thumb over his fingers clasped in her hand.
A deep long exhale, the last blink of those sky-blue eyes etched forever in her mind as he slipped from the world to greet the flash of his life.

Originally, Yarva was the one to pass on. However, as I got to the end I thought, what if she doesn’t?  (Because I’m in edit and revise mode I changed the original story a little. Mostly because I can’t help myself.)

My advice about switching it up.
Don’t be afraid to try out a different angle or outcome. Write both or more and see what tugs at your emotions. Give it to someone else and see what they have to say. (This is still the advice I would give. I’ve completely rewritten chapters to make a scenario different or even change the character or outcome. It can make a dull scene so much better.)

-Sheryl

Don’t forget to check out and follow the new daily prompt. Today’s Prompt is: Adulation
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Redundant Preposition – Grammar #2

Redundant Preposition2

Grammar is something I know I need help with. While I’m good, I’m not perfect. In my last post, I talked about Missing articles. Now I’ll talk about Redundant Preposition. If you missed a previous post on Grammar, simply click on the purple crossed-out title in the list below to see that post.

Within Grammar here are the most common issues I had in my story:

1. Missing Article
2. Redundant preposition
3. Confused preposition
4. Object instead of a subject pronoun
5. Adjective instead of an adverb
6. Wrong article with set expression
7. Incorrect use of progressive tense
8. Incorrect noun form

So I bet there is someone out there saying what the Bleepity-bleep is a Preposition? There are some that know what it is. Either way here is what it is for those that don’t know, and a reminder for those that do know.

Prepositions in writing are function words that show how a noun or a noun phrase relates to the sentence. They are words such as, on, after, since, or in. Two prepositions can be used in a row, for example, “From behind the bush” but most often a second preposition is totally unnecessary, “Alongside of the house.”

Here are some generic examples before I show you some redundant prepositions I plunked into my story.

Incorrect Everyone except from Tony ate spaghetti.
Correct Everyone except Tony ate spaghetti.

Incorrect The fish swam alongside of the boat.
Correct The fish swam alongside the boat.

Now here are two Redundant prepositions I found in my draft.

grammar2

Incorrect I pulled at the white surgical tape.
Correct I pulled the white surgical tape.

For this one, I originally wanted to express that she was pulling on or at the tape. So I changed it to this. I pulled and picked at the white surgical tape.

Incorrect Mike ordered in pizza.
Correct Mike ordered pizza.

Now in this situation, I actually wanted to indicate the pizza was being ordered to the house. So I changed it to, Mike ordered pizza delivery.

My advice about redundant prepositions:

They happen, they also don’t belong. It was easy to remove them or restructure the sentence to make what I was trying to say more clear to the reader. 

-Sheryl

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