Tuesday, February 24, 2009

“I was ly-ing” Round of Edits

Today’s post comes to you from a technical standpoint. In the most recent round of crits on my story over at CC, some technical points were made that I decidedly wasn’t aware of before.

I – overuse of the pronoun in first person POV
Was – was, were, be, being, been… overuse of passive verb choice
Ly – overuse of adverbs and adjectives that end in “ly”
Ing – overuse of present tense clauses. “I sat on the rock, thinking…”

It wasn’t until my third posting up on CC, that anyone suggested to fix these things. Now, I know all of them are fine in moderation. Apparently the reading flows smoother when they are few and far between though, so as I bring draft 3 up to draft 4, I’ll be working on these four items to see how much I like playing by the rules.

So tell me, how much has playing by the rules affected your writing? Good or bad, frustrating or pleasant…


Lady Glamis said...

Learning the rules and following them has helped my writing immensely. However, I have found that knowing them allows you to break them effectively when needed. For instance, if I want to slow the reader down, I use passive tense.

Davin Malasarn said...

I think the most important thing to do is understand WHY these rules have been passed on. Because, in truth, there are no "rules". This is art, and we truly can write whatever we want. But, these rules have lasted because most people think they help making the writing more interesting. And, I tend to agree with them and tend to follow them as best I can. But, if you know the "why" of a rule, then you can question its validity each time a specific case for or against using that rule comes up. Like Lady Glamis said, you need to know them so that you know when to break them.