How to Write Engagingly
Wow. It's been almost a full month since I've blogged! I must apologize. In the spare few minutes I've had for writing I've devoted the time to working on revisions for my novel or reading the advice of fellow authors.
One of the biggest themes that has been discussed as of late is how to write engagingly. Whether it is a combat scene, a romantic sequence, or simply the dialogue of characters; we need to draw the readership in. How should we go about such a task?
Step One: use your verbs. Strong, action-specific verbs that connotate exactly what the protagonist, antagonist or one of the supporting players is doing. Are they talking or murmuring? Are they stepping back or are they evading a blow? Is the kiss just a kiss or is it a peck or a full on carress between two people in love? You needn't confound the reader with a vast lexicon, just use words that are more descriptive of the actions or emotions you want to convey. And remember, the thesaurus is always your friend.
Step Two: don't be afraid to use adverbs. If you are using strong verbs perhaps you don't need adverbs. But then again, maybe you do. Adverbs are most effective if they are used sparingly. When you are editing your work scan three to four paragraphs at a time to check for the frequency of adverbs. (Hint: they are often verbs with the -ly ending.) Aim for one of these descriptive verbs for every three to four sentences. It will make that detail the highlight of the passage. If your paragraphs are riddled with them the writing begins to sound weaker as it signals the absence of strong verbs.
Step Three: write with all five senses and the feelings of your characters if you're going for a deep point of view. You don't need to dump all the senses into the same scene, but if you can relate to the reader the most important senses (typically two to three) you have invited them to be a part of your work. As for now, the percolating, steaming coffee pot is telling me it's time to refuel. Would you like cream or sugar?