Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Writing down the bones: LY words

LY - you know, those lovely little helping words that can really help enhance your story? But really, over using them can basically clog your story. Can you see what I mean by this paragraph? No? Let me try again.

Here's an example. This is from book 7 of my The Vespian Way series:

Heather really wanted to scream. She also really wanted to punch something. Trapped in a room with her Storm clone had her going slightly crazy. She really needed a break. “Can we go somewhere?”
“Not until you are intimate with me.”
“I’m not going to listen to you anymore.” She sat on the couch, cross legged and put her lovely hands over her ears. Time to act like she was really losing it. Anything to get her way. She had been grudgingly trapped there for three days and really needed a break.
“Heather.” Exasperation laced his voice.
She hummed softly to herself, keeping her gaze to the floor.
He grabbed her by the arms and physically dragged her to her feet. “You will do as you’re told.”
“You’re hurting me.”
He let go instantly. “I have been told to not be so lenient with you.”
“So what are you going to do? Force me?”
“Reasta has threatened something far worse. She wants to drug you. Make you forget.” He looked at her softly with sadness. “I have asked for a little more time to convince you this is the only way.”
“Not here. Not where she can watch.”
“You will be intimate with me if we go to the hydroponic’s lab?”
She really wanted to back up time and basically keep her mate alive. “Yes.”
“I will speak to Reasta.”

Now here's the same scene without all the ly words - which one seems stronger to you?

Heather wanted to scream. She also wanted to punch something. Trapped in a room with her Storm clone had her going crazy. She needed a break. “Can we go somewhere?”
“Not until you are intimate with me.”
“I’m not going to listen to you anymore.” She sat on the couch, cross legged and put her hands over her ears. Time to act like she was losing it. Anything to get her way. She had been trapped there for three days and needed a break.
“Heather.” Exasperation laced his voice.
She hummed to herself, keeping her gaze to the floor.
He grabbed her by the arms and dragged her to her feet. “You will do as you’re told.”
“You’re hurting me.”
He let go instantly. “I have been told to not be so lenient with you.”
“So what are you going to do? Force me?”
“Reasta has threatened something far worse. She wants to drug you. Make you forget.” He looked at her with sadness. “I have asked for a little more time to convince you this is the only way.”
“Not here. Not where she can watch.”
“You will be intimate with me if we go to the hydroponic’s lab?”
She wanted to back up time and keep her mate alive. “Yes.”
“I will speak to Reasta.”

Now to be honest I have learned to leave the ly words out so adding them is hard for me - that is why you see really a lot. I just couldn't think of any other word. But like any new author I probably liberally salted my manuscripts with them in the beginning, but good critique partners and great editors helped me learn to not use them.

There are times when you can use the ly word, but it should be done in moderation. You'll find a lot of writing is done that way. 

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