I thought I was making good progress in getting my manuscript ready for the Golden Heart competition. I’ve edited 80 pages, trying to dig deeper into the minds of my characters and getting rid of a lot of “he said, she said” tags, replacing them with action tags instead.
I’ve even succeeded in making good, ol’ dependable Brad a little less boring — at least I think I have.
So I’ve been hard at work and I thought I was getting the job done. Then I read today’s entry over at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. Now I’m not so sure.
Am I choosing vivid enough nouns and verbs, instead of relying on adjectives and adverbs? Sometimes.
Does each scene end with a hook? Well, maybe. I want to keep reading … but that may be because I know what’s coming up next.
Do my characters’ speech and interior monologues sound natural and appropriate to their backgrounds, interests, etc.? I certainly hope so, but I’ve never given it much thought.
Do their speeches take gender into account? God, no. Do men really speak in shorter sentences than women? I didn’t know that.
Do the syntax and paragraphing creatively showcase my voice and make it distinctive? Hmm. I just write and my voice shines through — I hope.
Have I used short paragraphs to speed up the pacing? Ha! I have that one covered. As a journalist, I’m used to writing shorter paragraphs.
Is my synopsis short and concise, focusing on the hero and heroine’s GMC? Short, yes. GMC? Not so much, considering the story was until recently short on that.
There’s so much to think about — more than I realized. I really do have my work cut out for me.
Arlene, thanks for visiting https://www.RubySlipperedSisterhood.com this morning. It feels wonderful to hear my tips made you reevaluate. The learning process in writing is a gradual one, and you’ll focus on individual elements one at a time until each new technique becomes second nature when you write. It’s all about revision, revision, revision. Good luck in the GH.
Laurie is my CP and has a lot of contest experience. Without her input, I doubt I would have been a finalist in my first GH attempt in 07. Her advice is sound and comes from personal experience. And, yes, men to tend to speak in shorter sentences. If nothing else, my dad, four brothers, hubby, and son taught me that. (Getting info can be like pulling hen’s teeth!)