authorly stuff

Show, Don't Tell

Inspired by the fact that I’ve had to go through about 60k worth of writing in the last few days….

It’s funny how people get so caught in writing rules. Don’t use adverbs. Dialog tags are bad. Gerunds should be avoided at all costs. (And I’ll admit, I’m the *worst* with gerunds in my first drafts. Even my dialogue tags are lousy.)

The thing is, of course you want your prose to be clean. Each word should have meaning and purpose…but part of the joys of being a writer is allowing your voice and your writing style to peek through. Learning the rules is great because then you can decide how you want to bend them. (And there is a big difference between breaking a rule knowingly and being ignorant of it. Believe me, it shows.)

Example:

“Don’t do that!” she exclaimed angrily.

“Why not?” he asked sharply. “Don’t you like it?” He pushed her against the wall, her sapphire blue eyes sparkling furiously. 

So why is this so awful? First, yes - the tags. Don’t explain what someone is doing if punctuation can do it for you. It’s pretty much a guarantee that if you end something with a ?, then it’s a question, for example. Easy fix? Let’s replace them with “said” to start with. 

Cleaned up 1:

“Don’t do that!” she said angrily.

“Why not?” he said sharply. “Don’t you like it?" He pushed her against the wall, her sapphire blue eyes sparkling furiously. 

Eh. A little better. But now, notice the adverbs. As an author, I’m telling the reader that character one is angry. She’s furious, in fact. That’s really boring. We could change up the tag a little bit…

Option 1:

"Don’t do that!” she spat.

Evil tag, perhaps, but better than using angrily.

or

Option 2: (we get rid of the tags altogether and *show* her anger)

“Don’t do that!” A hot flush worked its way over her cheeks, echoed in the dancing fury of her eyes as she glared at him.

Maybe a little over the top - but notice that as a reader, we can see her anger now. You don’t need to tell us she’s angry - we can pick that up for ourselves.

So let’s take that a step further…

“Don’t do that!” A hot flush worked its way over her cheeks, echoed in the dancing fury of her eyes as she glared at him.

“Why not?” The left corner of his mouth kicked up in a crooked smile. “Don’t you like it?” His fingers bit into her shoulders, hard enough that she could nearly see the blossoming of bruises erupt on the tight fit of her skin.  Another moment and she’d split like a ripened peach.

Okay - I’m not sure where this particular scene is going to go since I made it up on the fly (I imagine she’ll pull out a dagger and be like “Does it *look* like I like it, fuckwad?” but that’s for later.) 

Thus endeth the lesson. ;-)

youtube

My NYCC Myth Mixology panel. 

I haven’t watched and I probably won’t. (I have a very tough time watching myself/listening to myself - so YMMV as to the quality of it. >_<)

*yawns*

Finally finished the rough, rough draft of the new novel project. 92k for now, but that’s going to expand quite a bit during the fleshing out part. But still. Bones are down and I’m off to bed.

Don’t have a link to the review since I don’t have a subscription to it, but A Trace of Moonlight got 4 stars from RT! :D

4 starsA Trace of Moonlight is a testament to the significance of sacrifice: Abby Sinclair gives up her life, Talivar gives up his family and Brystion and Phineas (the hilarious mini-unicorn) give up a part of themselves in order to stop a mortal from ruining the world they’ve created. Equal parts romance and action, Pang has written a story that embraces the notion of love truly conquering any evil. With plenty of sassy and humorous dialogue, these pages fly! 

*thuds*

Finished agent-requested revisions. Somehow I ended up adding another 10k words for a total of 143k. Page count is 503. I’m somewhere in that state between elation that it’s finished and terrified that it’s not Good Enough. 

(And gotta finish the synopsis - never much fun for me.)

Ha ha - My friend Simon just texted me this pic of BoD in the wild. Apparently it was a signed copy tho I have NO idea how that got there. (Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, if you’re interested. LOL)

All your bacon are belong to us, indeed. 

(But hey, awesomeness for being face out!)

Well.

I just wrote up one of the silliest fangirl scenes to ever go in one of my books. Assuming it makes it through a billion rounds of editing (and assuming my editor lets it fly), I do believe Dragon Age is going to get quite the shout out in A Trace of Moonlight. **

Needless to say, @Phintheunicorn is rather upset with a certain mage blowing up the Chantry. *ahem*

I may post a rough version of it here in a bit. Or not.

** It wouldn’t be the first time. There’s a pretty silly WoW scene in A Brush of Darkness. I tend to write about whatever I’m playing when I write these books. Because of reasons.

WIP Words

The fog thickened around me like a cloak made of soot and ancient rust. The coverage was deceptive, making it seem as though the lower bowels of the city were cleaner than its wont. But like a diseased whore, all it took was a stiff breeze from the fetid bay to remove the illusion, the skirts lifted to reveal the rotting core beneath.

~~ IronHeart WIP

*thuds*

My Blog Tour manager just got back to me. 44 guest posts/interviews/reviews/giveaways in March alone. (This doesn’t count any of the stuff people are hitting me up for by themselves in Feb.

I’m going to be in an asylum by April.