How Should Writers Toss The Adverb?

Writing with minimal words to get your point across to the reader can be challenging for any writer. Over at Words In The Treehouse, Trish Nicolson has some great tips on how to make your point without saying alot and making sure your reader gets it.

 

Adverbs MyThoughts Mind Map

Adverbs MyThoughts Mind Map (Photo credit: MyThoughtsMindMaps)

 

How to Write Without Adverbs

This morning’s email from a friend, written in panic, and ending with “Help!” was sparked by advice from the judge of a story competition he wanted to enter. The advice was this: ‘Do not use adverbs.’

“But the second word of my story is an adverb!” he wailed, “Why can’t I use it? Why? Why?”This morning’s email from a friend, written in panic, and ending with “Help!” was sparked by advice from the judge of a story competition he wanted to enter. The advice was this: ‘Do not use adverbs.’

My breakfast sat on the table, my tummy rumbled, but a friend in need turns congealed porridge and cold tea to no account. I clattered out this advice on the keyboard:

An ‘ad-verb’ is added to a verb to condition it: make it stronger, say more, be more explicit. If you need to use an adverb; if you have to prop the verb up with a walking stick or a rod stuck down its spine, you are using the wrong verb – it is too weak to do the job you want it to do.  Stronger, appropriate verbs that say and do precisely what you want them to say and do, without face-lifts and crutches, give zest to your writing. And cutting adverbs reduces your word count. Read more here.

 

 

 

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How Are You Editing Long Sentences?

Opening of Peter Lombard's "Book of Sente...

Opening of Peter Lombard’s “Book of Sentences” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Edit a Book: Long Sentences and Comma Splices

via http://electronicbindery.com

Your beta readers have read your book; they like it, but they have one, minor criticism: your sentences are too long.

Though it is possible to create very long, but entirely sensible sentences, it’s usually easier on your readers if you keep your sentences short, and let punctuation help with phrasing.

Yes; of course you can break the rules; isn’t that what creative writing is all about? The problem is that most of the modern writing that your audience consumes has had any long sentence structures edited out.
So readers aren’t used to it, they trip over it, and they complain about it. And they might not read to the end of your book.

‘Problem’ long sentences come in two forms:

1. Long sentences with NO punctuation

Self-explanatory, really. Try reading your sentence aloud and see if you run out of air.

How to edit a book for sentences with NO punctuation

Add some! Just make sure you don’t use comma splices (below).

2. Long sentences that use comma splicing

Read more here.

What Will Readers Notice About Your Book?

The spine of the book is an important aspect i...

The spine of the book is an important aspect in book design, especially in cover design. When the books are stacked up or stored in a shelf, what’s on the spine is the only visible information about the book. In a book store, the details on the spine are what initially attract attention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7 Things Readers Notice When Picking Up A Book

If you have any hope of having your book achieve financial and critical success, you must understand how your readers (your customers), view your book (your product) when they first see it (online or on a shelf). Once you fully understand how your readers will perceive your book when they first see it, then you can adjust your book accordingly.

In order to accomplish this, you must separate yourself from your personal feelings about your book, and think like the objective buyer would think. What would attract you to a book like yours? What would attract people in your audience to a book like yours? Would you as a buyer be more attracted to a handsome cover, or to the cover blurbs? Would you buy a book based on its cover art, or because of the well-known names that are quoted on the cover? Does the book’s page count seem too long, or too short, to cover the topic adequately? Does the subtitle seem to be promising too much for such a topic? How does your book’s attributes compare to other books within your subject category? Read more here.

How to Narrate Your Audio Book With Expression

my headphones

my headphones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Narrate Your Audio Book With Expression

By 

Are you speaking your audio book as if you were reading it? Reading your book and narrating your book have completely different approaches. The process focuses on your different skills of communication. The most common mistake made when you read a passage out loud is to let your voice drone on through every word in a steady stream with little expression. For your audio version of your book you must use your voice as a tool of interpretation for the meaning behind the words that are written.

Here are three essentials to keep in mind when attempting to record your book or to narrate segments orally to an audience.

#1 is Organization: The first element you must ask yourself is: what am I thinking about in this section of the book? When reading a book you follow the words as your eyes cross each line on the page. You hold in your mind what the images are as the information evolves. It is a passive form of interaction because your eyes run ahead of your mind: you read then think. So, the key here is that you must avoid speaking your words in this pattern and not utter them on one pitch level, or cram too many words in at one time.

Compare this to speaking in conversation with someone. You automatically think first about something that you want to say, and then you speak it. You naturally group your words together according to the thought first. If you wish to tell your friends about something interesting, you allow your voice to get excited about it, and you chunk your thoughts randomly in conversation. Therefore, when narrating your audio text you need to group only one idea and the words belonging to that idea, then speak it. Take time to embrace each new idea. Speak as if you want your listener to feel the moment with you. If you do this, you will be reading more naturally and easily.

#2 is Expression: The second element is to take your thought segments and show surprise, excitement, curiosity, fear, joy, wonder, sadness, enjoyment, or any other emotions to give certain words the force that is needed. Your expression should be natural as if discovering the text for the first time. Think of the image that you may have seen before and reproduce it through your voice. You are using your thinking processes actively when narrating audio books and awakening the pictures in your mind to pass onto the listener through your tone.

To practise this skill of sensory expression, observe and imagine, and then describe any object of nature that you might encounter on a short walk outside your home; such as, a leaf, a flower, a bird, or a blade of grass. Speak expressively about the details of these items. Remember your listeners do not have the text of the book to check out the details. This is a great exercise to tune your voice inflection and observation skills. You use your breathing skills and tone of voice to create the pictures and feelings in the words of your book.

#3 is Pace: The third element to be aware of is the pace that you speak and the clarity of your words. Not all audio books contain descriptive environments or characters and dialogue which require extreme expressive tones. To narrate a documentary, an educational textbook, how-to manuals, or staff training materials, you still need to group the ideas or steps accordingly, and give expression throughout. However, you must be clear on the pronunciations of your words, or specialized industry terms and understand what the concept is. For example, any audio book of medical, scientific, engineering, or some other unique genre needs to be correctly and clearly spoken.

In addition, you will find that a slower pace works best so the endings of words are not dropped or rushed together. Your pace will only enhance your tone and your expression ranging from a serious tone of importance, to a neutral tone as a bridge, to an example, story, or data of information. Pace for speaking all types of audio materials whether fiction or non-fiction is important to the image, feelings, and facts that need to resonate with the listener.

The professional audio voice-over talent must use all the mental, physical, and vocal skills to get the right balance for the listeners. They are experienced oral readers trained in the skills of how to expand the capacity of breath control, how to group phrases to make it the ideas connect, how to find the key words to give expression with matching the pace, to give an overall tone that works.

If you have written your book and want to do the narration yourself, then be sure to get some professional coaching; or better still, hire a professional narrator. You want to match the high quality of your content to the high quality of your audio version. Your listeners will vary from people who listen while they drive, to busy people who can listen and multi-task, and to the blind who are studying school texts or listening to fictional literature. Voice-over skills for narrating your audio book can be learned but it’s not something that you can wing it and get it right!

Did you find this article helpful? If want a professional audio narrator, training, or personal coaching for vocal expression then check us out at http://www.VoicePowerTraining.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brenda_C._Smith

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7501353

What’s In Your Writing Toolkit?

 

Most writers have established the basic tools that will be utilized moving forward in their process of writing. Of course, taking writing courses and participating in conferences and writing groups are essential and a given. But what about reading? If we are writers we should be reading, and not just books about writing but books written by our favorite authors, as well as discovering new ones.

summer reading

summer reading (Photo credit: ruminatrix)

Jody Hedlund has written a very nice article that points out what writers need in their toolkits.

Do You Have This Important Tool In Your Writer’s Toolkit?

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund 

I’m currently between manuscripts. I finished editing a book in June, turned it in to my publisher, and now am busily researching my next book.

The research stage is always a bit of a break for me. I don’t have the daily pressure to write a certain number of words. And I don’t need the intense focus required during editing. Even though I try to accomplish several hours of research per day, my daily goals are less intense.

During the research lull between books, I usually attempt to make a dent in my to-be-read pile. While I’ve always considered reading one of life’s greatest pleasures, I’ve also come to realize that as a fiction writer, reading is a necessity in becoming a better writer.

The more a writer reads, the more familiar they become with story-telling. In fact, if you grew up like I did, with a book permanently attached to your hand, then writing fiction is probably somewhat intuitive. You already have a good foundation for what comprises a well-told story, even if you can’t quite put those techniques into fiction-writing lingo.

Even so, I recommend that all writers, no matter how much fiction they’ve read, STILL take the time to familiarize themselves with the craft of writing fiction. Even if we think we know how to write, we’ll only give ourselves even more of an advantage by familiarizing ourselves with story structure, plotting techniques, character building, etc. I find that I pick up new tips every time I read a fiction craft book. Read more here.