Thursday, September 24, 2009

Helpful Hints

Since the last time I blogged, I’ve received my first round of edits as a new author. After staring at the attachment as if it were a cobra that would go for my vulnerable parts if I took my eyes off it for a second, I finally opened the document…and found myself very reassured that I must have a wonderful voice. ‘Cause it couldn’t have been my grammar skills that won my editor over! All hail the Queen of the Misplaced and Dangling Modifier! Thank you, thank you! You’re too gracious!

Hard to believe, but I did conquer the hurdle of the first—I repeat, first round of edits. As a result I thought I’d impart some wisdom I've learned that could help others…or just provide a really good laugh at my expense. Here goes:

…When your hero has one hand resting on the heroine’s hip and is tracing her bottom lip with the other, he absolutely cannot stroke her hair at that same moment. Something about three arms…who knew??

…Helpful hint. If your character is going to hiss something, make sure there’s at least one “s” in the dialogue. I don’t know what “Get out of here” sounds like in Spanish, but in English, there’s not an “s” anywhere in there! Again…who knew?? My editor.

…If your villain dies by having his neck snapped, in the epilogue his neck needs to be hanging at an odd angle—not have a body riddled by gunfire. I mean, he was evil, but breaking his neck and shooting him? Gives new meaning to overkill. Your readers may end up a little confused. Just a little…

…Your heroine can only “pulse” and “pound” so much. Suggestion: T-h-e-s-a-u-r-u-s. To my stupefied disbelief, it’s not some kind of carnivorous dinosaur, but a book. A really helpful book. With lots of words in it….

…And finally, the sentence, “With a tug on his hand, her lashes lifted to glance…” Unless your lashes are from the planet Krypton with the strength of Superman, they cannot tug on a hand. Do you see why my reign over the kingdom of Dangling and Misplaced Modifier is absolute? But, as a side note, I do have some pretty strong lashes…

5 comments:

Callie James said...

You're so kind to share, Naima!!

And always with such a good sense of humor. Thanks!

Gwen Hernandez said...

Awesome post, Naima! I've found some funny mistakes in my own writing, and if I'm ever lucky enough to have an editor looking over it, I'm sure there will be many more. Thanks for the fun and helpful advice. ;-)

Christine said...

So funny. My favorite -- and I see it in published books but it drives me batty is: his hands roamed over her body. Well how do hands detach and do that? Just wondering.

Louisa Cornell said...

ROFLMAO, Naima !! This was the perfect way to look at your revision letter - tongue in cheek and always on the bright side.

Please tell me you write comedy because this was too funny!

And hey, they can TEACH grammar. They can't teach voice and you've got it!

Cari Hislop said...

Thank you for making me laugh. I've had similarly malformed heroes

With our song, 'Keep Your Hands on Me' booming in the background my hero swayed to the music waving his three arms in the air tempting me to come closer as he swayed his hips like John Travolta in that movie where the costume designer put him in white double knit polyester. My hero's third arm, jutting like a giant phallus from his neck, was being held over his head, the fingers beckoning me closer. My legs obeyed as I flung myself against him and demanded he put those three hands to work before I forgot I wasn't in a romance novel...