When I had gone to this trip up north to Tuguegarao City, part of the trip was a free tour of Callao Cave, one of the 300 caves in the quiet town of Peñablanca.
The cave is known for its 9 chambers. 7 of which are open to tourists, while the remaining 2 had been closed off due to an earthquake in the ‘80s. Each chamber is exceptionally huge, with 5 of them having sunlight that flows in through natural crevices from above.
The most famous of these chambers is the second one, where one of the rock formations resembles a church’s retablo and has been added wooden seats some time ago to resemble an actual church. Masses are held there on some occasions.
The first chamber, which is the mouth of the cave, was where the fossils of the oldest probable Homa sapien in the country was found. It was dubbed as the Callao Man, and was approx. 67,000 years old.
The third is the darkest, but has been permanently installed with artificial lights. The fourth greets you with sunlight as you climb up the clay steps to the fifth, which is the greenest part of the cave. It has the most plants, and even a small grotto at the top of the hill. The sixth is past a downward slope and is guarded by one of the rock formations, the Lion rock.
The seventh is just darkness and solid ground, and at the very end you could still see another source of skylight. We were told that the rest of the bones from our ancestors were found there, along with materials/weapons they might’ve used during the day.
Callao Cave was given its name by the Spaniards during the colonial era, using the word callado which meant calm. This name was chosen because from the trip through the river to the climb of 180+ steps and inside the cave itself, there is a consistent calmness that you would feel.
For Example: “Get out, Michael. I swear to God, get out before I try to kill you. I wasted two years of my life on your pathetic cheating ass. Get out!” Tara yelled angrily.
Adverbs are, more often than not, useless additions to your writing. Looking to the example above, adding “angrily” to the end of the line tells the reader nothing new. The reader knew Tara was angry, because Tara is clearly yelling at Michael. The dialogue alone is enough to portray this, and I’m sure with the full scene, the reader doesn’t need any extra help. Adverbs clutter up your writing and weaken your writing. Trust the reader to catch on without the adverb.
(2) “As if” Phrases
For Example: Mrs. Winters lingered over Bryan, her stern face glaring down at him, as if daring him to speak out again.
You don’t need to explain why characters are doing what they do. “As if” phrases are explanations we don’t need. Your writing needs to be strong enough to portray that Mrs. Winters wants Bryan to shut up.
(3) Exposition in Dialogue
For Example: “Hello, Bridget, my ex-girlfriend who cheated on me with Brad”.
I wrote a whole post on this last week, because exposition in dialogue is absolutely terrible, but I will say it again. Using dialogue to explain things is usually just lazy writing. Dialogue needs to sound the way that people actually talk. Keep in mind that the characters know more than they say, and rarely need to explain it.
For Example: The curtains opened and Jared lifted the wand. With a wave, he instructed the winds start playing. The hall filled with the melody of flutes, clarinets and trumpets.
To the untrained eye, Jared is a decent conductor, and is doing a fine job leading the orchestra. To a musician, this scene would come off as weird. The stick a conductor uses is a baton, not a wand. Trumpets are not wind instruments. These details aren’t enough to completely ruin a story, but if you have a character interested, you need to do research. Know what you’re talking about. Using the right words, terms that are only used within the community (for this example, words like staccato or laccato tell musicians how to play a note). If you have a character who is a musician, learn about music. If you have a character who does ballet, learn what a pliée is, and what an arabesque is. Don’t assume your readers won’t notice if you mess up on small details. The small details matter.
No matter how minor a character is, it is your job to make them matter. Every character should have some sort of story. It might go untold, but characters need to be people in the universe you created, not plot devices there to guide your main character to what they need to do. This is especially true when writing women. Many female characters are written with the purpose of being a love interest to your main character, and they deserve more than that.
Michelle Obama celebrated the beauty, power and tenacity of
black women while spreading her own message of education for girls at Black
Girls Rock!, an annual event honoring trailblazing women of color from all
walks of life. Congratulations to the beautiful women honored at the awards
including actress Jada Pinkett Smith, singer Erykah Badu, actress
Cicely Tyson, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez and
Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you
come from, you are beautiful. I am so proud of you. My husband, your president,
is so proud of you. We have so much hope and dreams for you” Michelle Obama
told the crowd, which included many young black girls: http://huff.to/1ONPbdU via The Huffington