Beginners' four faults
As an editor, I know when I am reading someone's first novel. I have nicknames for the four give-away faults beginners make: (1) Walk and Chew Gum (2) Furry Dice (3) Tea, Vicar? (4) Styrofoam. I see at least one of these in every manuscript where the author has not mastered the craft of writing before submitting in his or her work. What are these four faults and, more importantly, how can you cure them? (1) Walk and Chew GumThe writer has not integrated action and dialogue, internal monologue and action, or internal monologue with dialogue. "If you think you're going to town you'd better thing again," said Ralph. Not integrating action and dialogue makes for jerky, lifeless prose. "If you think you're going to town you'd better think again," Ralph snapped, putting down his can of beer. This might not be award-winning prose, but it reflects the reality of the action and feelings better by having action, thought and dialogue knitted together. She snatched the gun and aimed. (3) Tea, Vicar?
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