Rules of Writing

Hello Everyone!

As I am going through and doing self edits, I realized all of the things I use to do wrong and not even know it. The longer I write and get the cyber slap from my CP and editor, I get better at not making those mistakes. (really they are more love taps, because they are whipping me into shape *grin*)
But if they never would have pointed some of those things out then I would have never known they were wrong.
So I decided to share some of this knowledge so that others might be able to comb through their MS and clean them up and learn from my mistakes.

So for today the lesson is that was and it was are your enemy in writing.
Most times when you use these you are writing passive and not active. There are times that you will not be able to avoid using these words, mostly in dialogue as we speak using them all the time.
But I am going to give you an example of when you can avoid them and what you are losing by using them.

The wind was blowing.
This sentence is passive. It tells the reader that the wind is blowing but does not paint it for them. Here is another way to say the wind was blowing.

A warm summer breeze glided past, rustling the leaves above her head and carrying the scents of pine, earth, and something else extremely tempting
and forbidden.

I not only increased my word count, I painted a picture for the reader.
But say you don’t like this. You still can’t use ‘The wind was blowing,’ because it is passive and not active because of the ing verb and the use of was.
So if you still want the simple sentence it would be:
The wind blew.

So when combing through that MS and poilishing it, look to see where you have used was and it was and see if you can reword those sentences to become more active VS passive.

Best Wishes,
Virginia Cavanaugh

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