Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 220 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis







Some of what I'm about to put forward will seem like nit picking. After all, a good deal of it is just how you speak every day. Much of the advice you encounter can confuse things. "Write it the way it sounds." "Read it out loud and if it seems natural it probably is." This is okay for spoken communications, but we're talking about writing fiction.
Let's take a look at expletives. No, I'm not talking about the damned dirty words. Those can be fun when used in unexpected places! Expletive construction is the use of there or it with forms of the verb to be. An example would be, "It is okay to cross the street at the corner." A simpler, tighter construction would be to simply say, "Crossing the street at the corner is okay." You've pulled two words out of the sentence and reduced the audiences burden.
Can you eliminate all expletive constructions? Nope. "It is getting dark out now." is about as simple as you can get. No other subject in the sentence will substitute for the expletive. Another example would be, "There were good varieties of wine produced from this grape."
You could shorten it and improve perception and meaning with, "This grape produced good varieties of wine." A reduction of three words.
It doesn't seem like much, does it? A couple of words here and there. Expand that across a novel of, say, 75,000 words and the saving is significant, both for the writer and the reader. This kind of editing will create a much more concise and understandable prose that is far more readable.
Over the next few posts, we'll be looking at a number of these minor changes you can make to improve your fiction's readability. None of them require a major understanding of grammar, and, with a little practice, you'll find them easy to remember and employ. If nothing else, should you decide to submit your work to a traditional publisher or even to a professional editor, using these methods will make both the partys' job easier over the long haul.
Dane F. Baylis

Cute sayings annoy me
"He who dies with the most toys wins?"
Has any one given consideration to
"He who dies with the most toys is still dead?"
Is he
More comfortably dead?
Feeding a higher class of worms dead?
Bones bleached whiter dead?
Better dead than
A Skid Row wino
Lying beneath weeds
In a nameless potter's field dead?
Perhaps you're just survived by
Other "Most Toys" boys,
Sweating how long
They'll have
To enjoy the most toys
Left behind?

I've been wondering. A good amount of traffic on this site comes from Korea, China, and Russia. I was, at one time, a French and German linguist and I was just wondering how this site plays out in those places. Are my viewers there fluent in English? Do you use translation programs? How about a hello so I can get to know if I can make special allowances or adjustments to facilitate your experience of my blog?
Thanks - The author.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

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