More wisdom from Carol Fisher Saller, whose keynote speech at the EAC Conference in June made me realize that grammar isn't something fixed and rigid, that you study once and are done forever. http://cmosshoptalk.com/2015/07/23/editors-corner-4-do-you-follow/
I'm starting a new feature here on the blog: interviews with authors! Lots of author blogs interview other authors, and there are those who would complain about saturation, but given that most book recommendations are made by word of mouth,…
But this post isn’t about that kind of starting and finishing.
This post is about starts and beginnings in action and dialogue: what they are, what they do, and how to use them to serve the story.
Let’s start with these pairs of sentences:
- Louise smiled and began to walk away from me.
- Louise smiled and walked away from me.
- Ben grimaced and started unloading the dishwasher.
- Ben grimaced and unloaded the dishwasher.
- The queen began to rise from her throne.
- The queen rose from her throne.
Do you see the difference? In each pair, the first sentence emphasizes the start of an action, whereas the second emphasizes the action itself.
Few things pull me out of a story faster than body parts functioning autonomously or self-consciously. Every writer has written them at one time or other, and every reader has encountered them. They even occasionally appear in traditionally published fiction.…