Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Can’t Win

The tree was easy to spot. (breaks the passive “was” rule)
It was easy to spot the tree. (breaks the passive “was” rule)
I spotted the tree easily. (breaks the adverb “ly” rule)
I spotted the tree with ease. (sounds funky, especially from my 14 y.o. protag.)
I spotted the tree. (blah… see Spot run.)
Found tree. (even simpler)
Tree. There. Good. (caveman)

No, this one sentence isn’t enough to blog about, except as an example of my revising frustration. I’ve found that short sentences are harder to fix up than longer ones because I have fewer words to work with. In the example above, what’s your pick? Have any better suggestions?

Yes, it’s just one sentence and rules can be bent and broken – “I was ly-ing”s can be used in healthy moderation – but it’s good exercise, no?

Sidenote: I finished going over chapter two and ultimately (haha! I can use adverbs in my blog to my heart’s content) shaved off 917 words. Yowzah! I read through it and vastly prefer the shorter version. The tree sentence comes from chapter 3, my current project (originally 6K!) Too long to be reasonable on CC even. 650 words shaved so far…

1 comment:

Lady Glamis said...

Okay, I died laughing at this post! This is how I feel all the time. No matter what you choose nothing is right! URGH!

I like the 1st one the best. It flows the most naturally for me. And using the passive "was" is not always bad. Usually a way around this is being creative... like saying, "I saw the leaves blowing at the top of the tree. The movement made it easy to spot."

Bad example, but you get the idea. :)