Following My Own Advice
A few days ago I was preparing an excerpt from a novel in progress for submission to a writer’s grant. Before I sent it out, I wanted it to be the very best example of my work. I decided to take my own advice (see the “vivid verbs” entry below) and eliminate adverbs in favor of stronger verbs.
Here’s what I did: I used the “find” command to search for “ly.” It’s amazing how many adverbs I found in my 49-page excerpt. Then each time an adverb popped up, I deleted it and used meatier verbs or other forms of description.
For example, I found a sentence that read, “Kenny looked at Gema suspiciously.” After I finished yawning at the plainness of this, I came up with the following fix: “Kenny looked at Gema, his eyes bloated with suspicion.” In this example, the verb “looked” was adequate, but following it with an observation about his eyes really made the sentence sing.
So I urge you to try this exercise. Run your masterpiece through the “find” command and search for the “ly” words. You’ll be amazed at how much power you can add to your writing.
Finding Paying Markets
In my last entry I promised to share a great tool for finding paying markets. It’s called “Duotrope’s Digest.” It’s an ingenious search engine, in which you enter your parameters, and it returns a list of paying markets for your work.
Begin by going to: http://www.duotrope.com
You will be taken to the search window (example on left), where you type in your criteria. For example, under Genre, type “Science Fiction” or “Romance,” according to what you like to write. Choose your length, pay scale, medium, etc., then hit “Search” and in seconds you’ll have a list of markets that will accept your submissions. It couldn’t be any easier.
At this time, Duotrope is free, but they accept donations to keep them running. Try out their service and then don’t be stingy. Drop a few dollars their way as a thank you for all their trouble.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, may you follow your bliss into the clouds and soar on wings of storytelling power!