Exhibit 6.16

On Editing a Novel #3

DESCRIBING YOUR PROTAGONIST. Your first draft probably described your main character with a series of adjectives once in the first sentence of the novel and never mentioned what he or she looked like ever again. So how do you turn “Tom was tall, kind of orangish, teary-eyed, a sno cone lover, short, smelled like Tab soda, awesome, haptic, a good tipper, a SWMDDF in his personal ad, sort-of medium-heighted, salty, and not entirely sure who killed his father.” into a novel’s worth of powerful description?

All you have to do is search for every time the character’s name get used an insert one of your adjectives in front of it. Just watch:

I never though I would step foot in this Arby’s again, awesome Tom thought.

Watching the woman carefully, Tom smelled like Tab soda.

Professional writers might even work the adjectives into speech to make your descriptions come more naturally:

“I’m starting to think no one killed Tom’s father,” she said. “But Tom is a good tipper.”

If you run out of adjectives, look around the room and take them from items around you (e.g. a cup of coffee on your desk could add some “steam” to your character’s personality or some “Colombian Dark Roast” coloring to his eyes!)!

Comment / Posted in Coffee, Editing, Writing

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