Monday, May 30, 2011

A Feeble Sentence

I wrote my three hundred words for today, but they are for my novel/book/manuscript/project/masterpiece/rough draft. So the public will have to wait to read them. Hopefully the public will read them after extensive revision, because they were not my best three hundred words at all.

This is the worst sentence of the ones written today:  

She reached the doorway of the side room, peaked in quickly to confirm it was empty of anyone important, and walked nervously to a booth at the back of the room.

How boring is that sentence? It isn't particularly offensive in its mediocrity, but there is definitely no magic there. I use the word "room" twice, which is one of my writing pet peeves. I don't have any sensory details here besides the visual--and even those details are scarce. Describing spaces is hard for me; I never know what level of details or amount of information is just right. I want to make my readers feel like they are there with my characters--but I don't want them to be overly conscious of that process by bogging them down with unimportant details.

My sentence is lame--but at least I wrote it. If I waited until all of my words were magical and perfectly arranged before I typed them out, I would have about a haiku's worth of material. I'm grateful for my ability to write crummy first drafts, because that means I have the chance to better second drafts, polished third drafts, and excellent final drafts.

1 comment:

  1. Yes to everything. I also struggle with space and hate repeating words twice in the same sentence. My biggest struggle though is (hard to explain, bear with me) pregnant pauses. In real life there's so much body language involved and I find myself writing "he stared, she stared" or "he looked up, she looked up" like fifty million times in one story. I always paused for too long before speaking when I did acting, too. I think I need to practice writing scenes in which no one looks at anybody. :)

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