This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days at-home workshop (blog.janicehardy.com).
Today I am to get rid of any unnecessary told prose. This is basically anything that tells instead of shows. I am to check for motivational tells, emotional tells, descriptive tells and placeholder adverbs.
Janice gives us “red flag” words we can do a search on, such as causing, making, when, realize, could see, the sound of, trying, because, and making.
I did the searches and found more sentences where I used the word “when” than I can list here. I was able to eliminate quite a few of them. It surprised me how much stronger the sentences read just by removing this one word or phrase. I also reworded or deleted sentences with the words trying, because, the sound of, and making.
Results: I am surprised I have so many tells. To discover and eliminate them and see my sentences become stronger is exciting.
There are words we use all the time that weaken our sentences. Eliminating these “red flag” words makes our sentences stronger and crisper. Also watch out for -ly words (adverbs). They can usually be eliminated by using a stronger verb.
Do you have a lot of tells in your story? What method of search and destroy do you use?
See you on the next page.