Thursday, 4 August 2016

Editing - taking a knife to fluff

Image result for piece of fluff

When you come to edit a finished piece of work there are a couple of things you can do that will immediately sharpen your language and if necessary, reduce a word count.

1. Remove the following


Get rid of them and see if you can't improve the quality of the word they were supporting.

Very fast - fast - rapid/speedy/brisk/racing

Really hot - hot - scorching/sweltering/searing/blistering

Quite interesting - interesting - riveting/fascinating/enthralling/captivating

2. Reduce your use of the word 'and'. Make some of your sentences shorter and more meaningful.It varies the pace of the prose and makes for easier uderstanding.

3. Compress words in speech. It makes dialogue more realistic and can cut a hefty wordcount if this is your aim.

'You could have said. I would not mind.' - 'You could've said. I wouldn't mind.'

Very simple and ordinary edits like these can dramatically affect the feel of your work and there's hardly any effort involved. Getting rid of fluffy sentences makes the harder editing jobs such as restructuring or getting rid of superfluous characters much easier.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Writing about yourself

It's a long time since I've written my blog.

Picture of thyme, loved by bees.

I've been busy but I can't quite remember what it is that I've been doing! I thought I should write the months down and add roughly what I did in those months. Some of the things that kept me busy were fodder for stories.

Here are a few of the things I did.

Planted flowers to attract bees. I have worried for a while about the decline in bees and instead of thinking someone else will sort it out I got cracking. I haven't got the mass of flowers I'm looking for but am on the way. I did it all through donations and taking cuttings. I hope now to make a beehive in my garden - a secret underground one not designed for honey production but for bee preservation.

Threw out loads of rubbish. My work has meant that I have lots of paperwork and equipment at home so I've altered my occupation and thrown masses of things away, acquiring a more minimalist look in the procedure.

Prayed very hard for certain outcomes and have been pleased with the results of prayer.  Some might say manifestation or positive thinking. 

Improved my swimming so much that I have been able to swim outdoors and in water I would recently have considered too deep. I ow swim three times a week and it keeps me sane.

 Accepted defeat.  A house I was selling was overpriced. I have stubbornly refused to drop the price which is why it won't sell. I'm hoping my acceptance of the new price  brings results.

What's the point of me telling you this?

1. Your last twelve months may well make twelve chapters or more in a book. You may have to spice them up or tone them down and change names to protect the innocent but you may well have a story.

2. Some of the activities, like the ones above, are the raw material of short stories.

3. You could write a poem. 

I planted flowers 
I looked for bees
I prayed...and so on.

Look no further than your own life.