Add Spice to Your Writing

It’s been a while since I walked across the fields of the Cow Pasture. Words have alluded me. Some days it has been like sitting at the keyboard and forgetting how to spell. Other times words run through my mind at warp speed at the turn of events in my life – not words I should repeat here. Although laced with emotions, they are lazy words, meant only for my catharsis.
We rarely get the results we want when we spew words into the universe because it feels good or is quick and easy. Like a recipe without flavor, it’s lazy and boring.
Words are the spice of our stories. Write with purpose and choose words that bring your story to life and leaves the reader with a lingering taste for more.
Check out this article by Jerry Jenkins, 249 Strong Verbs That’ll Spice Up Your Writing and spice up your writing.

Look, Look, And Look

Before I send my manuscript to the editors, I’m doing my best to clean up my draft copy.

For those of you beginning this process, here are a few tips:

  1. Print out a hard copy – It’s easier to spot errors, holes.
  2. Make notes for obvious holes in the story, and correct grammar/punctuation, redundancies, and repetition.
  3. Turn off autocorrect to avoid missing homonyms ( words with the same spelling but different meaning/ wrong word for the sentence, e.g., pole, pole. Or, the homophones ( words with the same pronunciation but different meanings, or spelling (e.g., to, two, too.
  4. Eliminate weasel words: and/ or weasel words (“to be” verbs: is, are, was, were, had, had been).
  5. Use your search tool to seek out:
    1. Misused Words: e.g.,. Who vs. that; few vs. less, which vs. that, in vs. into, etc.
    2. Words to avoid: (can usually cut without losing a thing from the sentence), e.g., that, then, about, almost, begin, very, really, somewhat, up, down, over, around, only, just, even.
    3. Telling Words: e.g., seemed, knew, thought, felt, wondered, mused, because, suddenly, realized, prayed, considered, hope.
    4. Rethink these words – Are they necessary? Is it showing? Or, can you rewrite the sentence to make it stronger? e.g., as, while, since, although, though, though, because, when, before, until.
  6. Repetition – Lord have mercy! I had no idea how often I used certain words. e.g., look/looked, maybe, watch, or good. 

It isn’t advisable to do extensive rewrites before sending to an editor, but it’s recommended you send the cleanest copy you can. First up for me is a developmental editor. If you have recommendations for one in women’s fiction, I love the connection.  In the meantime, here are a few other resources to help with those first draft run through.

Do have other tips or resources? Share them with the fence jumpers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.