My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (6)

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision

Eliminating Adverbs

I edited filter words.

go to leekah 1I will continue to use a discarded scene from my First Draft as an example for editing.  A prior post includes the original text alongside edits of the verb BE, as well as another one with edits to filters.  This time I will start with the edited version and then look at adverbs.  On one side will be where I started from, and the other side will be how it turned out.

Exciting?

Nope.

Adverbs

So, what is an adverb.  I won’t go all technical, but it’s just a word which modifies a verb.  So let’s try a simple example.

Mom walked across the street.

Walked is the verb.

Mom walked quickly across the street.

Walked is the verb.  Quickly modifies the verb

It also turns out that there are over 100 non-LY adverbs in English.  Examples include aboard, about, abroad, and over a hundred others.

So, why would we want to edit out adverbs?  Let’s go back to our earlier example.

Mom walked quickly across the street.

Now for a trick question.

Could we replace walked quickly with a single word?

Of course – RAN.

Mom ran across the street.

We just saved ourselves a word.

Is one time a big deal?  Nope.  Is a thousand times a big deal?  Yippers.

What I Tried To Do

So, as I went through my story I concentrated on those non-LY adverbs since I don’t remember them well enough to know when I used them and when I didn’t.  And I figured the -LY forms would take care of themselves as I edited.

Happily I had no -LY adverbs in this version of my scene.  From my handy spreadsheet I learned that I had used almost (1), down (3), even (2), far (1), however (1), much (1), not (1), now (1), only (1), somehow (1), then (1), together (1), up (1), well (2), while (1), and yet (1).

So the trick became looking at where I’d used them and deciding if I wanted different words.

Scene = 442 (+19) words.  TO BE’S = 0 (0); FILTERS = 1 (+1); NON -LY ADVERBS = 4 (-16);  COMMON WORDS = 154 (+5);  PRONOUNS = 65 (+2);  SCORING = 0.36 (-0.02).

We went up in word count again and had a filter word pop up as well as Common Words and Pronouns edging up and our Character Scoring moved back down a bit.

And this highlights something I found.  As I make more and more changes I often reintroduce aspects I removed in  earlier drafts.  Do I worry about it?  Nope.  I’m not going to drive myself crazy…yet.  We will still have an acid test or two later on.

 

How It Looked

Revised To Reduce Filtering Revised To Reduce Adverbs
Without seeming, Corston steered Running Deer into an alcove, off the main hallway.  Nodding to Bright Star and Vitona, he turned his back, comfortable in the knowledge none would dare interrupt him, or try to eavesdrop. Without seeming, Corston steered Running Deer into an alcove, off the main hallway.  Nodding to Bright Star and Vitona, he turned his back, comfortable in the knowledge none would dare interrupt him, or try to eavesdrop.
No changes.
He looked down on the source of his troubles.  Running Deer stood half a foot shorter than his 5’ 9”, no one would ever mistake her for Grand Haran with her darker skin and glossy black hair.  And carrying the Count’s child this far into pregnancy only enhanced, her beauty, and her animal magnetism continued to attract followers to her, the ones who called her Lashan Princess, while repelling others who resorted to calling her the Lashan Witch.
He looked down on the source of his troubles.  Running Deer stood half a foot shorter than his 5’ 9”, no one would ever mistake her for Grand Haran with her darker skin and glossy black hair.  And carrying the Count’s child this deep far into pregnancy only enhanced, her beauty and charm rather than detracting from it.  And and her animal magnetism continued to attract followers to her, the ones who called her Lashan Princess, but threatened many while repelling others who resorted to calling her the Lashan Witch.
Down stayed because I wanted to convey her height relative to his.

Far didn’t convey quite what I wanted so I tried a different word.

Only seemed a little meh so I removed it and added contrasting words which I thought worked to advantage

While wasn’t very exciting either, so I went into a bit of a description on repelling

“You’re looking a beautiful as ever, dear child, but I’m rather astonished my sister, Ellana, would have bricked you up or whatever you do in confinement,” Corston said.  “I must presume a matter of great import for you to risk her displeasure. “You’re looking a beautiful as ever, dear child, but I’m rather astonished my sister, Ellana, would have bricked you in up or whatever you do in confinement,” Corston said.  “I must presume a matter of great import for you to risk her displeasure.
Up didn’t really capture my meaning of locking her away, so I tried a different word.
She looked down at her huge belly and made a face.  “I wish my son to come out for I weary of this but time creeps by.”  She clutched at that smooth agate with its swirls of green and blue.  “Ebert.” She patted her looked down at her huge belly and made a face.  “I wish my son to come out for I weary of this but time creeps by.”  She clutched at that smooth agate with its swirls of green and blue.  “Ebert.”
Down seemed on the passive side, so I made her more active in addressing her condition.
“Yes.  Ebert.”  Corston tapped the floor with his cane.  “You did well, girl, to break off with him.  I’m delighted you listened to—” “Yes.  Ebert.”  Corston tapped the floor with his cane.  “You did well, girl, to break off with him.  I’m delighted you listened to—”
Well stayed because I couldn’t really come up with a better word that stayed in Corston’s character.
“Make him stop.”  She clutched at his sleeves.  “He will listen to you, Uncle.  I grieve for him for his hurt perhaps matches the pain in my heart, but he must stop.”  She took a deep breath, eyes flashing.  “Please?” “Make him stop.”  She clutched at his sleeves.  “He will listen to you, Uncle.  I grieve for him for his hurt perhaps matches the pain in my heart, but he must stop.”  She took a deep breath, eyes flashing.  “Please?”
No changes
Corston turned his arms, taking her hands in his.  “Yes.  Well, I suppose it’s time.”  A month had passed since she broke with Ebert, yet he showed no signs of coming to his senses.  “I will, dear child.”  He leaned and kissed her forehead. Corston turned his arms, taking her hands in his.  “Yes.  Well, I suppose it’s time.”  A month had passed since she broke with Ebert, but yet he showed no signs of coming to his senses.  “I will, dear child.”  He leaned and kissed her forehead.
Well stayed because I couldn’t really come up with a better word that stayed in Corston’s character.

Yet seemed a little pedestrian, and I’ve been using it a lot for Running Dear so I took it out of Corston’s vocabulary.

Then he motioned for Vitona and Bright Star.  They steered their Lady down the hall.  Even now, the girl carried herself with remarkable grace, almost no waddle.  People smiled as she approached.  She did that to people.  Her soft words, in that delightful accent, won them over.  Some ladies had even begun to mix Lasha dress into their Grand Hara styles. Then he motioned for Vitona and Bright Star and they .  They steered their Lady through down the gaggle of courtiers in the hallway.   hallThroughout, Even now, the girl carried herself with remarkable grace, without a almost no waddle to betray her condition when viewed from behind.  People smiled as she approached.  She did that to people.  Her soft words, in that delightful accent, won them over.  Some ladies had started imitating even begun to mix Lasha dress instead of into their Grand Hara styles.
Then stayed because I still needed a transition word to get from one paragraph to the next.

Down was pretty bland, and then inspiration struck me and we got a more involved description of her environment.

Even now lost out to a single word

Almost gave way to a more detailed physical description of her condition.

Even gave way to a more active description of how Harans were mixing their dress.

Worry tugged at him.  Until she bore a son, the Confederation existed as so many words, not a fact.  The heir would knit the two Peoples together.  But, Ebert threatened to upend everything and, however much his nephew loved the girl, matters of state took precedence.  Corston would put Ebert’s interference to a stop. Worry tugged at him.  Until she bore a son, the Confederation amounted to little more than existed as so many words with no physical reality.  Given , not a chance, the fact.  The heir might weave would knit the two Peoples together.  But, Ebert threatened to upend everything and, however much his nephew‘s loved for the girl could not endanger matters of state took precedence.  Corston would put Ebert’s interference to a stop.
So morphed more words with more description.

Not went away to a positive statement, usually a good thing.

Together stayed since nothing better occurred to me.

However much moved on toward more of the danger involved with Ebert’s interest in Running Dear.

 

What’s next?

Next time I will talk about 250 commonly used words in English.

I edited common or glue words.
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6 thoughts on “My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (6)

  1. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (5) | Simply Silent

  2. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (7) | Simply Silent

  3. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (8) | Simply Silent

  4. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (9) | Simply Silent

  5. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (10) | Simply Silent

  6. Pingback: My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (11) | Simply Silent

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