Another Good Article

Another Good Article


Writing Prompt: The Skill Builder: Fixing Your Narrative Flow

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt focuses on an exercise designed to work on a particular skill or technique, such as a POV exercise or character builder.

Today’s prompt is a bit more revision focused, with a task aimed at editing your current project and experimenting with it.

I’ve been discussing sentence flow and structure a lot the last few weeks, so let’s put some of that into practice. Today’s skill:

Sentence flow

Pick a scene and copy it into a new file so you’re free to much with it without losing anything.

Next, review it specifically for sentence structure and narrative flow. Look for paragraphs that use mostly the same style of sentence. Look for clunky or awkward dialogue tags. Look for repetition of words, ideas, or structure. Look for faulty parallelisms.

Move some dialogue tags around and see where they best fit in the scene. Break up a few longer sentences. Combine short sentences so they flow better as one longer, complex sentence. Even move some paragraphs around and see if changing when the information is revealed changes the flow or feel of the scene.

About Susan McCaskill

Susan (or Sue, as she prefers to be called), was born in post war England, and lived there until the age of nine, when she and her mother emigrated to Canada. Her father died when she was nine, and left a huge impression on her. Both her parents encouraged her to read, and learn. She has always believed in fairies and elves, and probably always will, and as a child, she saw things many others didn't, and as a result she was thought to be a little strange.

Sue currently lives on beautiful Vancouver Island with her husband and three demanding cats.

Although she has been in Canada for so many years, she still misses the English and Welsh countryside, and because of this, her novel is based in the ancient, picturesque town of Betws-Y-Coed.

About herself, she says:

"I think I was born a writer, and got more confidence thanks to my grade five teacher, who was wonderful, and fostered my love for writing. I didn't write for almost 40 years, because of raising kids, life happenings, the usual drama. I started again sporadically ten years ago, and finished my first Mid Grade fantasy in 2013. Currently working on book 2.

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