It's amazing how quickly time and my mind goes. I thought I had this post figured out, but as I sit down to write it I'm drawing a blank. Oh well. This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Writer's Retreat in Washington. Aside from being in a beautiful location with much cooler weather than I'm used to, great company, and great classes, I've been able to do some solid writing of my own. It's been wonderful!
One of the subjects talked about by our resident writer Heather B Moore was "Life After the First Draft." It's always nice to be reminded of what we need to watch out for. This was especially useful for me right now as I'm going through yet another edit. Here are some of the things to watch out for:
- Watch out for Dialog Tags. Make sure you have them when needed and substitute an action when you can.
- Avoid repetition of all kinds, i.e. words, name calling, etc
- Punctuation. Beward of too many !!!!!, know basic comma rules
- Verbs. Check your "ly" verbs, use more accurate verbs, watch was/were
- Pacing. Make sure your book is always moving forward, watch info dumps, are you skimming your own words?
- Sense of Setting. Keep each chapter to make sure you know where you are within the first few paragraphs
- Point of View. Make sure you stay consistent. No head hopping.
- General. Have your facts straight, use spell checker, are your actions physically possible?
All of these things are great to keep in mind while writing a first draft, but that doesn't mean you should get hung up on them. Just write the story, then go through looking for these things. Keep up all the wonderful writing and Happy Editing! (If that's the stage you're in.)