Lucid Writing Advice VI
by Antavius Flagg
Page 1 of 3
5 ways to take your time in writing, and yet get somewhere
- Beware of all of a sudden and its’ relatives
- Be wary of sequence words
- Watch your spelling of the word
Most of us have read that short story every once in a while when all the
action comes at the end of few words of introduction, which have a knack for
appearing quite often. This article will hopefully keep you from doing
BEWARE OF ALL OF A SUDDEN AND ITS’ RELATIVES
When a writer sits down to write their first work, it is always not quite
their best. Yet he or she may see it as quite an accomplishment. Such things
are excusable in the beginning, but as the writer starts to write more they
will correct their mistakes, all because perfect practice makes perfect.
Below is a passage that a beginning writer may write.
Joe went into the house and sat down. He turned on the t.v. and flipped
to his favorite show. It wasn’t on, so he went to his room. Pressing the
button, he found that his radio had stopped working. In a second he was in the
kitchen. All of a sudden he found that he wasn’t hungry.
This passage has not an ounce of description, and note how those four
words ‘ all of a sudden’ come onto the scene to tell us that he wasn’t hungry.
Was that really necessary? Those four words can get a beginning writer in
trouble, but at the start they are excused for it. Read how ‘all of a sudden’
works in the passage below:
Richard couldn’t understand why the fat bird didn’t just fly away to
another branch, it was really bugging him. Trying not to be seen he ducked
below a rock and took out his sandwich. Just the sight of lettuce and tomato
sent a quiver through his stomach. Licking his lips he hefted the ham
All of a sudden the bird swooped down and carried the sandwich away.
Why even use those words at all? They do nothing but rush things, and is a
poor excuse for a writer to not use his imaginative mind. Wouldn’t you agree
that perhaps ‘ in a blurring blue streak’, or ‘ in a rush of wind’ would be
better suited instead of ‘ all of a sudden’? Below are words you should try to
avoid when you can:
all at once
I suggest that you never use these words to start off a moment of
action, after a while they become clinched, which I will talk about
BEWARE OF SEQUENCE WORDS
Many beginning writers fall into the trap of sequence words all the time.
When they want to tell how the sorcerer cast the spell, or how the crafters
made the ship, they want to lead the reader every step of the way. In all truth
you shouldn’t lead your reader every step of the way, only enough to get
them to picture what it is you want them to see.
Below is how a more inexperienced writer would describe a sorcerer casting a
Valmir stood in the clearing, watching the advancing army galloping
across the plain. In a swift motion he raised his hands. First, a ball of
howling flame arose from his palms with only a trace of thought. Second, he
spun his arms until the flame engulfed them. Third, he twirled as if in a
dance. Then, all of a sudden the ball left him and raced across the plain.
The air hung in stillness as he watched it moving away to the army. Finally,
in a multitude of agonizing shrieks, the flame landed in the midst of the army.
In an upheaval of stone they were blasted into the underworld.Next Page
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