Writing Tip 8: Become Conscious Writers (Not Self Conscious!)

BY MIKE JOHNSON

Always little habits building up. Little mannerisms creeping in unnoticed.

For example, in my own work I find the nagging persistence of she saw, he felt, she knew, he understood, they noticed that, it struck her that, she had often observed that…

Compare the following:

He can see the tears in her eyes.

There are tears in her eyes.

Tears in her eyes shine in the half light.

 

He saw her pull out a cigarette and light it.

She pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

 

She felt a cold hand clutching her heart

A cold hand clutched her heart.

 

He noticed a man at the table speak into his phone.

A man at the table spoke into this phone.

 

The only legitimate reason for putting in these phrases is when the perceiving is more important than what is perceived.

 

Eg: He noticed that she was wearing a red dress.

(The implication, he doesn’t normally notice what she wears but on this occasion…)

If the narrative POV has been established, it should be clear who is seeing, noticing, understanding, perceiving etc

 

Clear out the dead wood.