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Showing posts with label Trite Phrases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trite Phrases. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Novelist Approach to Getting Published: Getting Rid of Trite Phrases

Here's some great advice from one of our members, Pat Meece Davis.
A Novelist Approach to Getting Published: Getting Rid of Trite Phrases
Most of the books I've read recently have two phrases I'd like to remove from the English language. One is "...somehow managed..." as in "He somehow managed to get out of the cave." This provides no image for the reader. Compare with "He crawled out of the cave." The reader can visualize a male person on hands and knees making slow progress through a tight space. A simple example but more effective.

The other phrase is "...seen better days..." Whether it's clothes, cars, shoes, houses, or a multitude of other objects that wear, fade, scuff, fall down, or deteriorate, they all end up bearing this generic description. Choose a specific characteristic or two and show what's wrong. "Not only did the fence require a fresh coat of paint, a half-dozen missing rails needed to be replaced."

When you complete a manuscript, use Find/Replace to delete and rewrite these phrases.