Sunday, February 20, 2011

Avoiding being verbs

I am now in Chapter Two of my first novel. The first scene of Chapter One was probably the most difficult thing I wrote in my life. It's going to need some major revisions some day.

I'm finding myself more comfortable in Chapter Two. Chapter One was a very short dialog scene, and neither of the characters did much except speak. The scene was primarily a stream of consciousness from the protagonist.

Chapter Two has motion. It's a conversation in a car with a good deal of natural exposition -- and maybe even a plant or two. It has been fun to write.

Most of all, I'm proud of myself for avoiding the "being" verbs. My novel is written in past tense so the words I have to be most conscious of are was and were. I start to write nearly every sentence -- okay, maybe 1 in 3 -- with a being verb. I've found I can immediately flip the subjects, objects, and subjective complements around to create a much more interesting (and prettier) sentence with an action verb -- even when writing about inanimate objects that just sit or lay.

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