When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.
Today’s tip: Whenever possible, put descriptions in action rather than narrative.
Action is exciting, pulls the reader in. Narrative is passive, safe, allows the reader to put the book down and take a break.
Not The cabin had a two car garage.
Instead, We pulled into the open space in the garage, beside a dented Jeep Cherokee
Not: She wore a flowered dress and matching yellow shoes
Instead: She looked cold in the flowered dress and the drizzle had ruined what might have been matching yellow shoes.
The latter is more interesting and conveys more information about what’s happening.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.