Joan Steinau Lesters skrivtips: "Books aren't written, they're rewritten." The published words on a page, which read so artfully and gracefully, have likely been worked and reworked countless times. Have patience. With diligent polishing, your sentences too will shine.
1. Does your first paragraph bring readers in? How gripping, mysterious, or compelling can you render it? The opening sentence should be like an arrow shot from a bow: it will shoot through the entire text.
2. Is there a clear setting for your essay or story? Keep anecdotes grounded in specific locations. The more vivid and specific your details, the more memorable the scene. If your action occurs near a tree or shrub, name it: Is it an acacia bursting with yellow buds, a weeping willow that sways in the wind, or a fiery red Japanese maple? Let your enivronment enhance the mood.
3. Is there sufficient dialogue? (That’s the part readers rarely skip.) Read drafts aloud to keep the rhythms lifelike.
4. Does the central character change? We want to see movement and transformation, which is the heart of literature.
5. Can you find needless duplication? Look for synonyms or alternate wording that will keep your manuscript fresh. Most of us have writing "tics," words or phrases that creep onto every page. Be alert to your repetitive habits.
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