Friday, November 27, 2009

Brought to You by the Letters R and U

This month's "Ask an Editor" column answers a question about some of the distinctions between genre and literary tone and technique.

Go take a look. :)

Theresa

4 comments:

Leona said...

The article is great and timely as well. I and my family have talked about passive voice for weeks as I'm frantically writing. I can now explain it better to my son. We had used the definition from Office Word to help explain it to him. I have the passive voice monitor on to help me see it and I have very few passive voice sentences!

JewelTones said...

Thanks, Theresa! Very helpful and a great answer. I find the topic much clearer now. :)

JT

green_knight said...

The post touches upon (but sadly, does not solve) my main dilemma.

I write, in the wider sense, coming-of-age novels. Books about people who face challenges and change. I also write mysteries in the wider sense: the protagonist stumbles across something they don't understand and put the pieces together and understand what's going on before being able to do something about it.

Both of these together mean that a lot of what is going on is in the character's heads. Which, in first draft, reads as follows:
The character began to walk down the street. She really had to work out why- [add five hundred words of going over clues and pondering past events]. Yes, she would face him. Tomorrow.

Any tips how to turn that kind of internal journey into a more active scene?

Edittorrent said...

Green Knight, giver her meaningful action. If she's walking down the street, have her see two things simultaneously that remind her of two clues that she hadn't connected before. Let the environment act as a sort of stimulus for the internal journey.

It's not all that unusual for a narrator in a mystery, even a first person narrator, to withhold information and analysis from the reader. Keep in mind that you may be able to skip some of these passages.

Theresa