Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting directions

Life happens in a multitude of directions.It's down there; look over there; standing beside the fire; Behind the shelves; and so on.
When writing movement, direction is a complicated balance.
Enough direction will lead your reader down the story line and along the plot path. See, even in that former sentence I used direction as a guide to let your mind follow.
However, too much direction can be as  equally destructive as enough direction can be helpful.
What'd the right balance?
Here's a trick I learned from a writer friend of mine. When doing an editorial read through or repair, look for specific words in your find and replace tool. "Back,Before, After, Beside, Behind, Along side, Next to, At the end of, Above and In back of."
When the word or phrase is located; read the sentence it is a part of without the search terms. If the scenery still makes sense, take the direction out. If the sentence becomes muddled, keep it. This will take time and patience, but will be worth it when your reader enjoys the flow of your work without feeling like the writer is being patronizing.
Here are some samples to try-
"The glass, teetering beside the teapot, crashed to the floor."
"He searched the clouds above for a heavenly message."
"crouching behind the door, she listened to their conversation."
"The gun was replaced in the drawer at the end of the table."
"Strolling along side her pooch, Madeline whistled a perky tune."
Some of those are clear and easy. Others will make you wonder. That is Okay. Soon your mind and your instincts will be trained to notice them in your writing without a reminder to do the search. Try it, have fun and Keep Writing!

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