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Writing Fiction Narrative : Ray and Eudora Kill The Passive Voice

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:37 PM

The Method to Take You From Drab or Quiet to Can't Put It Down

What's one of the best ways to ensure a publishing contract? Master the art of writing fiction narrative, of course. But what does that mean, and are you sure you know the difference between relatively quiet fiction narrative and verve-packed narrative? Are you setting your standards high enough? Are you aware of the level of craft and attention to detail that will make you a great writer with not only a solid career, but a huge number of conference appearances wherein you can, with little effort, and in front of hundreds of people, act like a legend in your own mind?

Writers set standards for themselves, often ignorant of how high the standards need to be raised in order for them to be as competitive as possible in this current marketplace.

Rather than tell, let's show examples of how to take somewhat ordinary, perhaps even vaguely interesting narrative, and make it as competitive and energetic as possible by adding imagery, metaphor, emotion, more active verbs and better sentence structure. And BTW, for this exercise we're going to channel Ray Bradbury and Eudora Welty at the same time in order to reach a final stage of pretty damn good. And don't let this freak you. They learned the hard way and took their lumps and rewrote a thousand times just like everyone else!

Beginning with a hypothetical chunk of speculative-fiction narrative. Could this be a first draft? Let's hope so. The imagination needs a boost and the passive voice is obvious. No emotions or tension either, therefore characters flat. The writer would also benefit by injecting a bit more meaningful detail, e.g., regarding "his future meal" and the "colorful glimmer" and other.

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