Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Writing Tip Tuesday

From author Elizabeth George:

Anything that attracts attention to itself within your writing is something that's going to take the reader out of the story. Remember: Your objective is to do everything possible to keep the reader in the story. But you have to do it without calling attention to it. A tricky business.

I love this quote and all I can say is: Amen, Sistah!

A real life example:

I critiqued a manuscript for a friend once. A terrific writer. A terrific story. I was reading along and came across a phrase that I loved.

I subconsciously made a mental note of it - in a hey-I-like-that kind of way.

Maybe 50 or 60 pages later, there was the same phrase!

This time, my reaction was: Uh, oh....the writer likes this phrase, too.

Now the writer has intruded into my reading.

The writer has made her presence known.

Which pulled me out of the story.

Not. good.

So, my advice for today is: Be very, very careful about attracting attention to your writing. Don't overuse particular phrases or even words. (Trust me, easier said than done. I've been saved by brilliant copy editors on more than one occasion.)

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