Monday, June 15, 2009


Wes said...

Thank you for the hard work to help us. Here are my four.........

“Go away!” Kincaid shouted at Joe. There wasn’t a need to turn in the saddle and look back. He was there. The sounds of creaking leather and the clip of hooves said so.

You know, I think maybe some re-arranging would help. There's something that rings wrong with "shouted at Joe"-- maybe move "Joe" to the next line? That gets rid of the "he" problem (could refer to Kincaid).

Also "said so" rings wrong. Sorry, I can't justify that feeling, but let's see how it looks with the changes:
“Go away!” Kincaid shouted. There was no need to turn in the saddle and look back. Joe was still there. The sounds of creaking leather and the clip of hooves proved that.

"There was no need" is a bit more concise. I wonder if "Go away" sounds angry and macho enough? It sounds more petulant to me, but then, I don't know the situation and character. But here's just an example to show how the dialogue could indicate another sort of person:

"Get the hell away!" Kincaid shouted.


"Get lost!"

What sounds like Kincaid? I think-- stereotyping here-- for a male character you might go for a bit harder-edged words?

I also wonder if you can sneak in just a bit more setting detail? We get the "Western" feel of the horse travel, but think about something like, "Kincaid stared straight ahead at the (setting detail). There was no need to turn in his saddle and...." That way you get the action of the character moving through the setting-- and of course interacting with the other character. :)



Mit said...

I like the way you keep pointing out how details can be snuck into sentence.

I am a person of 101 words - and each time I'm asked for "a little" detail to ground a scene I add a paragraph (or two or three).

This is helpful ... and I assume usually the sort of thing a writer fixes in a 2nd draft, not in a first "let's get the story out" draft. Right?

(BTW, I'm sure you are totally SHOCKED by the admission I am long winded.)

Jaymi said...

That was a quick fix. I also must add a thank you for the time you are spending. We authors all need it.

Wes said...

Amazing!!! How you can spot so many issues in four short sentences and then fix them so easily continues to astound me.

Thanks again.

Edittorrent said...

Mit, just think "modifiers". Adjectives and adverbs are a good way to sneak in detail. Of course, that's easy to overdo. I always have to un-modify all my nouns and verbs, because I just strew those modifiers everywhere. :)

Wes, I had to search for fixes, trust me.