Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thoughts on Writing

When you're working through your second draft, editing and cleaning things up, pay attention to where your characters are physically located (and what condition they're in.) While betaing manuscripts, I often encounter characters who, say, get into bed at the beginning of a paragraph, but are leaning against the wall at the end (with no account of them getting up.) Or holding something large and fragile at the beginning of the paragraph, and waving their hands around at the end (without putting down the thing.) Or transitioning from asleep to awake to asleep, or from mourning to laughter, etc.

Also, pay attention to the passage of time--especially if you've been adding, deleting, or shuffling scenes, it can be quite easy to accidentally end up with conflicting time references. Characters may note that it's dark out in one paragraph, and comment on the evening shadows in the next.

And remember, if your characters have to walk all night, they will be tired in the morning.

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