Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Listen to Your Prose

L is for Listen to Your Prose. In other words, read it out loud to yourself. It's amazing how many mistakes you can find this way, awkward phrasing, unbelievable dialogue, purple prose, and more. You can even have someone else read your material to you, so you hear what it's like without being distracted by the actual written words.

Today's Tarot deck is Legacy of the Divine Tarot. Here are a couple of sample cards from the deck:


Images courtesy of Aeclectic Tarot

I asked the cards what part of my manuscript am I most likely to have to rephrase after reading it aloud. The card I drew is the Three of Coins. Amazingly enough, that particular card is available from Aeclectic Tarot, so here it is:


This card indicates hard work, skill, patience to do the job right. The man on the card is thoroughly absorbed in his work, focusing only on it and nothing else. I feel this card is telling me when I focus so deeply on my writing that the world could end and I wouldn't notice, this is when I'm most likely to write passages that don't come off well in the real world. A few big words and flowery phrases go a long way. Prose should include real life, not just high-flown phrases.

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