I recently decided to take a break from writing scenes in my current manuscript until I get a better feeling for where my story is going.
While I continue to brainstorm scenes, there is one thing I’m working on—my style.
For a writer, style is how we put words together on the page. Style is syntax—the order of our words. Style is poetry—choosing just the right word. Style is the underlying foundation of everything we write. Style is being conscious of what words we choose, how we order our sentences and paragraphs and pages, and why. Read more
I have to admit I am not the perfect grammarian. When I write, I often “wing” such things as commas and semi-colons. Later, when I go back over my work, I often chuckle at the silly and unlikely places I’ve stashed a comma.
Granted, as writers, we need to have a good understanding of our language but I don’t think we need to obsess over it. That’s what editors are for, right?
I love what author Joan Didion has to say about grammar: Read more
When I first started writing, I struggled with the passive voice. I remember one of my writing mentors drawing it to my attention. In an early chapter of my memoir I had too many “woulds,” “coulds,” and linking verbs. All of this led to my reader feeling distanced from my story.
As storytellers, we want to engage our readers. One way to do this is by using active verbs.
Here’s the difference:
He kissed her. (active) Read more