Friday, November 25, 2011
You're probably reading this after you've returned from getting stitches in the E.R. and getting your broken leg set and casted (from being trampled over.)
Glad you had fun!
So now, let's talk a little about budgets. That's why we brave the crowds, right? To make that all-mighty dollar stretch just a wee bit farther.
In writing, I like to budget too. Oh, I don't specifically assign a value, but I keep it in mind as I shop (er, write.)
What kinds of things do I budget?
Exclamation marks! Isn't it fun to use them!?! I love it!!!!!!!!! They give our manuscript pizazz, funk, and energy!!!!!!!!!
Actually, then get quite annoying to a reader. And they are the lazy writer's way of showing excitement or emphasis. Instead, our word choice should be enough to convey that.
That said, sometimes a good ! is just needed. So give yourself a budget. One ! for per scene. Oh, you might have two !'s in one scene and none in another, and that is fine. And if you have !'s left over, then FABULOUS! You frugal writer you!
We all know, you need more than one was per scene, as much as we get hounded about not using them. But the word "was" is around for a reason. It's needed from time to time.
So let's pretend that each was is $10.00 coming out of your advance check when you get published. Go around your manuscript and decide... do I REALLY need this word? Is it worth $20? Can I reword it to make it better?
Budget, my friends, it's all about budgeting!
Us 3rd person POV writers love italics. They let us cheat and tell our character's thoughts in first person. But... that is just it. It's cheating. If you're writing in deep POV, you're already hearing your characters thoughts in 3rd person. Still there are cases when a little italics are needed. In my Sandwich book, my heroine has these little prayers to God that I italicize. They aren't overbearing, and serve a specific purpose.
But, for most cases, let's say for every italicized word you use, it costs you $100.00 of your advance. NOW is it worth it? Better make that italic something really important!
Oh yeah... did I mention that reading italics too much are not only annoying, but bad on the eyes?
We all really love a good adverb. I whole-heartedly mean, don't you truly think that they greatly add to the spectacular luster of a novel? Not only that, but an adjective simply makes your stupendous prose swimmingly better, correct?
-ly words are another lazy writing habit, one that is a newer rule of thumb.
But, just like the word was, sometimes an -ly word is needed. But overuse can is a sign of a novice writer, so break out the wallet again, my friends.
Instead of, "She walked quickly" you could state, "She ran." Or there are a lot more clever ways, but you get the idea.
Same with an adjective, although adjectives are more needed then an adverb. Instead of "She had brown hair." you can say, "The bruinette..." that's probably a bad example, but you get the idea.
Adjectives are a little cheaper. They are only $.25 each.
Adverbs, on the other hand, will cost you $10 each.
So write wisely!
Discussion: Anyone go black Friday shopping? (or, given some crazy stupid stores opening at insane times... Black THANKSGIVING shopping?) Do you agree with my budget? Any other things you budget when you write? Anyone want to loan me a few was's??? I'll give them back... HA!