Showing posts from June, 2021

The Ability to Control Time – Part 1

One of the things I see when I edit other writers is the inability to control time. But what does that mean?   The notion of time in a novel is different to time in the real world. That’s because in the fictional world, we can jump from point to point in time – sometimes whole generations. We can move forward or back, we can speed up time and manipulate it, but it needs to be done properly, otherwise it can cause problems with the pace of the writing and cause the reader to become confused as to when time should have passed, or not, and what might have happened in between. The biggest problem with controlling time is a tendency for the writer to rush the narrative, because that means the sense of time is also rushed.   For example, when one scene zips to the other without the slightest hint to the reader that three weeks have passed, then it blurs the sense of transition. This will confuse the reader. Has time actually passed? By how much? Of course, this does not need to hap

Intensifiers and Qualifiers

There are certain things in writing that should be avoided wherever possible, such as clichés, passive sentences or info dumping, but there are two things writers should also look out for, which are intensifiers and qualifiers. But what are they and what do they do? Intensifiers and qualifiers are words or phrases that can be added to another word to modify its meaning, by either limiting it or enhancing it. They are placed before adjectives and adverbs in an attempt to intensify or modify its effect, but u nless they’re a part of dialogue and form the way a character might speak, intensifiers and qualifiers can weaken the writing if overused, or make it look lazy and amateurish. A qualifier can change the meaning of a verb by limiting it, and so it changes how absolute or certain something is, for example: ‘She was somewhat flustered by his invite.’ In this example, the word ‘somewhat’ is qualifying the word ‘flustered’ and it creates doubt about any certainty. It has