I’ve been using Bite Size Edits lately again. Not to edit my own stuff, although I slapped Colours of the Rain up there. I’m getting some feedback, some of which is good grammar stuff like where commas go. I can’t remember all those fucking rules about commas.
I’m also getting some not so good feedback. Like the sex being cliché (duh!) and this line about Ocean’s glasses being unnecessary (actually I think it was called stupid).
The glasses were fairly new, he thought, not scratched or worn.
It isn’t unnecessary or stupid. It speaks to her status. She’s not as transient as she seems. She must have money somewhere and she cares about herself somewhat. Enough to get her eyes checked and buy new glasses.
I’m amazed at how often words like, ‘and’, ‘oh’ or ‘well’ are used at the beginning of sentences, including my own. Usually totally unnecessary. I leave them in speech because that’s how people talk. There are also many sentences that go on and on linked by many ‘and’s.
There is showing. On the other hand, there is too much showing. I’m not a big fan of boring prose, where it takes two or three paragraphs to tell me about the landscape or the smell or how someone looked. MOVE ON to the action. I like shorter choppy sentences. Mostly.
Someone told me that readers over the age of 12 like longer description. A comment that I will always hold against the commenter. I didn’t say you had to like it too, but for a lot of people, long description is BORING.
Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the forty-year-old Langdon had what his female colleagues referred to as an ‘erudite’ appeal — wisp of gray in his thick brown hair, probing blue eyes, an arrestingly deep voice, and the strong, carefree smile of a collegiate athlete. from Angels and Demons, chapter 1
I shouldn’t get too critical however. It’s bite size edits you have 3 sentences to read and try to figure out it if makes sense. When I edit my own stuff, I know where I was going for the most part so I can put it in context.
The point is that most editing remarks are personal preference. You can break a longer sentence connected by “and” into two separate ones.
He put his picks down on a table and quickly followed her out the doors.
He put his books down and followed her out
Neither is wrong. The second one is nice and short and to the action. The first is a bit more wordy. They both say the same thing. I’d change it to the second.
With bite size edits I’ve been trying to just comment on grammer and spelling etc. and keeping away with things I’d change because I think it sounds better. I also am rejecting suggested edits that are personal preference. My book, my writing, my way. That’s why I went indie wasn’t it?
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