Monday, July 2, 2012
Writing . . . re-writing
Three ideas I have found most helpful refer to dialogue, how the book sounds, and use of adverbs. To summarize, the authors suggest avoiding anything other than "he said" or "she said." So cross out those "he exclaimed" or "she mumbled" or "he whispered" or even "she answered." Why? The reader should know by the diologue itself, and the action surrounding it (called the beat) how the words are being said. Apparently, using these kinds of "tricks" surrounding dialogue is lazy; it's cheating. Well! So I'm fixing a lot of those.
Back in graduate school, in a fiction workshop, my professor hated adverbs. Hated them . . . with a passion. I like adverbs, but they should be limited in writing. Why? Again, because the prose and dialogue itself should convey what an adverb would convey. So again, I'm going through my novel, spying out all the pesky adverbs, and eliminating most of them, but not all.
And finally, see how the book sounds. So I sat in my backyard today, reading the book aloud. It helped me to modify some of the dialogue. Am I allowed to admit that I enjoyed hearing it read aloud?