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Old 06-15-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
Steven Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
Over-using the word "then" as an action separator in my early writings was...
Agreed. I have issues with using the world "Then" too much as well. Sometimes though I have to switch off the grammar nazi mode and concentrate on the story at large, no matter how bad it sounds when I'm done, and then just come back on the first edit pass and go completely postal on it grammar wise, ensuring that both the scene is top notch, as well as the writing. One trick I've started doing over the past two years is to just pound out a series of scenes one day, grammar and spelling be damned, and then come back the next day, and before writing anything new, I go back through those same scenes and clean them up really, really nice. Oddly enough, it works for me, and also acts as a refresher for where I'm at in the manuscript, recently added facts and canon, and so on. I've also found that subconsciously I'm becoming much cleaner on my prose simply through doing it this way, because my first edit sweeps are requiring less cleanup than before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
Show vs tell is tricky; a constant balance between important vs unimportant, hiding vs revealing too much, and avoiding projecting too much of either (and giving something away) in the way you show or tell.
Oh heavens, I think everyone struggles with this one. I know I still do. That was one thing I got my butt reamed about regularly when I was first starting out. Someone finally had to take one of my narratives and rewrite it with show rather than tell so I could understand what they meant. That's when it finally clicked. It's like saying, "Don't tell me Johnny is an egotist. Show me!" It's like the difference between these two lines:

Tell: Johnny was an egotist.
Show: "I'm the greatest thing since god, and I am the most incredible as well, and nobody is greater than I am, so kneel before me, slave!"

It's probably not the best example, but it gets the point across. Either way, of all the issues that writers struggle with, this is probably the biggest.
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