The discussions included the quality of printing done by Lulu, the writing of a Mary-Sue character, the wins and losses in a character’s arc and the current day-formula for writing books, making movies and writing songs.
The lesson on self-editing covered identifying hidden verbs in sentences. Hidden verbs is the process of turning a verb into a noun and adding another verb to the sentence for it to make sense. Hidden verbs do three things:
- It makes the writing sound pompous, boring and flat.
- It tells instead of shows, and in some cases suggests nothing really happened.
- It makes sentences unnecessarily longer.
- Hidden: We will make a decision on Tuesday.
- Uncovered: We will decide on Tuesday.
- Hidden: She gave him a hug.
- Uncovered: She hugged him.
- Hidden: He’d make a more thorough assessment when he paid for the goods.
- Covered: He’d assess him thoroughly when he paid for the goods.
The endings -ment, -tion, -sion and -ance can, but not always, indicate a verb transformed into a noun and hidden within a sentence.
- Hidden: They made the decision to fight their way out of the castle.
- Uncovered: They decided to fight their way out of the castle.
We read our homework assignment, which was to take the following sentence and write a story.
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he/she was not.
NOTE: The character can be either male or female. You choose.
This is the first line in the novel City of Glass by Paul Auster (1985)
Word Count Goal: 433 words.
HOMEWORK for February
Take a character from a story you’re working on right now and write a 350-word backstory for them.