Mary will discuss issues authors should address to make their writing shine before they send manuscripts to editors or agents or before they Indie-publish! Although each of us needs editors at different stages of writing and preparing a manuscript, paying several editors can be confusing and expensive. We compete in a market flooded with books and critics who pounce on small things. An editor might pass on a book because it lacks shine or would take too much time to polish, especially when some authors submit books that shine and pack impact.
Mary will explain and use examples in ways to help authors who don’t understand or remember the grammar terms.
Questions? Email Mary at MMARVELLAB@AOL.COM
*This session will address misplaced modifiers and confusing pronoun uses.
Do you really want to confuse your readers? Misplaced modifiers and unclear pronouns do just that.
EXAMPLE: Running down the stairs, he opened the door. HUH? Where is the door that he can open it while running down the stairs?
EXAMPLE: Bill and his brother like to work for Mr. Jones because he pays well. He told his brother about the job and his family has been friends with each other. That could be confusing.
*I will discuss using strong verbs and ways to cut down on excessive use of being verbs and ing verbs. If you want your writing to have impact, verb choice matters!
EXAMPLE: He was going to have to meet with the teacher who failed him. YAWN. His stomach soured at the thought of meeting the teacher who failed him. OR The idea of meeting the teacher who failed him made his palms sweat.
*If you write in first person, do you find too many sentences beginning with I but can’t see a way to avoid that?
EXAMPLE: I woke up confused. I didn’t remember falling asleep in the dog’s bed. I must have been drugged or drunk.
BETTER: Struggling to wake, I turned my head to avoid the strong smell of dog. Bile rose in my throat to make the taste of road-kill breath seem pleasant. Rough blanket scratched my face. One eye cracked open. The dog’s bed? How much did I drink last night?
Mary taught language arts for 15 years and now tutors students in writing and all things language arts. She edits for Gilded Dragonfly Books and works with freelance clients as a editor and writing coach. She has 6 published novels and 2 novellas. Her short stories can be found in 7 anthologies.
From Carole Shaughnessey, author
I have worked with Mary for several years. She has never hesitated to explain to me about the changes she suggests. I have learned more from her and can apply it to my writing every day. I am forming stronger passages, always with her “Mary voice” in my ear. She has never once made me feel lacking and has the patience to teach me what years of English teachers attempted, like how to write a strong sentence and how to apply that information going forward with every short story and manuscript. I’m confident when I send off my work to publishers that they’ll see a stronger more polished product.
I’ll be in class! Thank you, Mary.
Mary Marvella Barfield