kathleen winter (kathleenwinter) wrote in etwentyten,
kathleen winter

Technical Tune-Up

Cut stage directions:

-The maybe 10-fifteen feet slope seemed enormously scary to me...

-Under the window was an old red bus seat like couch.

-Just a few minutes into my stroll I hear footsteps approaching from behind, so I glance back...

-The first thing we noticed when we walked through the doors were the security guards. They were everywhere.


-the ocean and sky mirror images of each other make every thing seem grey and still giving and overall slow and sleepy atmosphere to the tiny sea side village.

-his tall and lean stature perfectly comfortable of where he planted his feet coming downhill...

-He doesn’t shoot everything, just the moments that speak longer than they are. Not that this wasn’t a lasting moment. Oh no. This would be carried with every notion of that day.

Cut or change general, vague, and formal words or phrases:

-the magical night

-the astonishing temple

-the extraordinary detail

-so captivating

-however, at a second glance...

-observing each piece of furniture



-atop this hill

-one is compelled to wish for...

-every imaginable surface...

-The mountainous hillside serves as a backdrop to the village itself.

-the older gentleman...


-for a brief moment

Cut tired phrases:

-the vast expanse of ocean

-like a ton of bricks

-the rugged scenery

-it is quite a sight to see

-there are not enough words to describe the beauty of it

-timeless shores

-the air is electric

-whispers spread like wildfire

-untouched by the ravages of time


Plunge into the narrative:

A first draft will ease into the narrative. It will have dead wood. Writing that spends too long introducing or winding up to an idea. Cut this dead wood out, and rewrite from the live centre.

Create simplest past tense, or move to present tense. Not:

-were heading back

-would often arrive alone

-were bringing pot luck items

-were saying stupid things and talking loud

-were frequently afraid of passing dogs

-would sit in the front of the boat

-would give me the biggest hug

was always waiting for us on the porch

Make subject and verb agree. Not:

-As a quiet child, my voice got lost sometimes in the chaos that is a big family.

-After squishing down the ham sandwich, the wind around my toes forced me to retreat into the living room.

-When driving into the village, the city can be seen in the rear view mirror.

Make tenses agree. Not:

-When a friend you have known for so long, and had been through so much with, makes sarcastic remarks, it is rather surprising.

-Suddenly a fox crosses my path, so slow I could have touched it.


Keep a subject consistently singular or plural. Not:

-steps making its way down the slope...

-touching up memories so we remember it better

-a group of men are sitting in a rowing shell

Use active sentence structure. Not:

-His attention was quickly stolen by the muffin placed on his high chair table.

-The centre of the carpet had been worn away by many feet over the years.

-She was reminded by the music of all the good times they had had.

Cut halfhearted or uncertain words:









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