Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Work It Out!

It's time to get into shape.

At least that's what the fitness DVD display told me yesterday. I exercise, but the sight of those new fitness regimes made made me roll my eyes and go buy a soft pretzel. Then I started to think. As the New Year approaches we make plans for getting our bodies back into shape, but what about toning our writing?

I won't go over the whole 'this is what you need to trim' thing. You're all awesome enough to know about that kind of stuff already. But I do have a few tips for a leaner, meaner MS. It's not the full 'go for it' workout, but small steps work. And, unlike a tough workout, there won't be any painful muscle cramps the next day. Yay!

Start slow with a warm up of spell checking.

Raise your heart rate by deleting some adverbs. Those little blighters like to cling to the hips of your MS. Not all adverbs are bad (like fats), but streamlining them will give your paragraphs a leaner look.

Tighten by omitting redundant words/phrases. Flex your muscles to reduce blow-by-blow action, adjectives, and dialogue tags.

Cool down with a hard copy read. It is amazing how many errors, weird phrases, and word choices pop out at you when you read from paper.

There are lots of other ways to trim the fat from your MS. So tell me, how do you trim yours?

P.S. Katrina is having an awesome New Year's Revision Blog Party over on her blog. Feel free to join the fun.

5 comments:

  1. Ha ha! Love it! Not all fats are bad, but streamlining those adverbs will definitely help my MS. That's actually what I've been working on this morning. Redundant phrases or repeated words are one of my kryptonites. Also, asides to the reader. I think those CAN work, but I tend to do it a little too much. Too voicey, so when I trim fat, those are some of the first to go.

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  2. very well put! I love it! Maybe my ms will be able to fit into that bikini by summer afterall. :0D

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  3. I have a ridiculous amount of redundancies in my first drafts! Thankfully I really enjoy slashing all the extras when I'm editing! :)

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  4. Hahaha that's a good way to put it.

    Me?

    I sprint to write out the entire MS. Then run a marathon to do the rewrite. Finally I stretch out my muscles much the same as the above.

    I'm currently lining up for the marathon.

    ;-)

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  5. Instead of cutting down the over used words just use a Thesaurus! HA... Okay I just found that funny and the fact that the word "Thesarus," looks like some kind of a prehistoric animal. I've actually done more adding than cutting recentlly...so I guess it only makes sense that I've packed on the pounds with pregnancy so I pack them on with my manuscript as well!

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