I guess by now, I've mentioned I'm a pantser, so my stories come directly from my characters with no plotting by me. The best part, in my opinion: putting together a manuscript is telling myself a story, and I'm usually anxious to get to the end to see how things work out. The worst part...I'm experiencing at the moment. Life has gotten in the way of my muse and either I'm too distracted to listen, or my character has gone mute in a polite and caring way, so as not to add more to my plate. I'm having a tough time with the struggle between heeding my best advice and just putting the story aside until I can give it my very best effort or forging on because I can't wait to see "whodunit.
Anyhow, I've strayed from the title of this post, and that because I wanted to share one more "problem area" I'm trying to avoid in the writing of my current story.
I think of of the hardest lessons learned for me has been omitting unnecessary instances of the word "that." The rule of thumb...if you can read the sentence without the word and it still makes sense, then don't use it. I'm still working on it.
A favorite for me is RUE = resist the urge to explain. Leaving out some of the obvious is less insulting to the intelligence of the readers. For example: if two people are sharing a dialogue and you've put the dialogue in quotes, there is no need to add a tag beyond she said. She said 'to him' is really not necessary. I keep learning these things and always wonder if the readers even notice or care? How about you?
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