Welcome, Ann Everett! I’m so pleased you could visit with us and tell us about your book. I have some lovely iced tea and can make you some iced coffee, if you’d like some. Because it’s so warm in Georgia, we’re using the fake logs in the fireplace. If you hang around I’m sure one of our ladies will offer you some cookies and finger sandwiches.
I love this cover and the colors you chose. True, what an interesting title. Since our members are writers, your topic is quite welcome. We Southerners often use more words than we need. GO FOR IT!
Overwriting: A Common Mistake
Overwriting is a mistake all new writers make. They use more words than necessary to get their point across. Here are some examples:
Wrangler Joe pulled his gun belt tight around his waist and buckled it.
See anything wrong with that sentence? Where else do you wear a belt other than your waist? Also, if you change the common verb pulled to a stronger one, the reader gets a better picture.
Wrangler Joe cinched his gun belt tight and buckled it.
Here’s another one.
“You shot me, you idiot!” she screamed, as she pulled a gun from her purse and fired at Joe.
The exclamation point tells us she’s screaming, so the reader doesn’t need a tag/attribution.
Try it this way:
“You shot me, you idiot!” She rummaged in her purse, pulled out a gun and returned fire.
Let’s add some description and make it even better.
“You shot me, you idiot!” She rummaged in her purse, produced a small pearl-handled pistol, and returned fire.
Here are a few more common overwriting mistakes:
She stared up at the ceiling.
Is a ceiling any other place than up? Same thing with ceiling fan. Just stare at it. Don’t stare up at it.
He sat down on the sofa.
Can you sit on a sofa any other way than down? You can sit up in bed. You can straighten in a chair. You can plop onto a bar stool. Watch for unneeded words.
She stood on the balcony and looked down below.
Choose one or the other, down or below. They mean the same thing so only one is needed. Same goes for up above.
Here’s a paragraph with so much description, it over-powers the reason for the sentence.
Jane walked briskly across the high-polished wooden floor of the sunbathed gallery, darting her eyes from painting to painting hung on the bland, white walls as she grabbed her art history book from the upholstered bench where she’d left it the day before.
The reader doesn’t need to know, nor do they care about high-polished wooden floors, upholstered furniture, or bland, white walls. The whole reason for the sentence is to have the character return to the gallery for her book.
Jane returned to the gallery and retrieved the book she’d left there.
However, if the sunlight or polished floors remind her of something that pertains to her past and triggers an important thread of the tale, then show the part that causes that. But don’t get so bogged down in writing descriptions just for the sake of description, that you lose the meaning of your story. It’s true. In writing, less is more.
Example: Jane’s heels clicked across the polished wooden floor of the gallery. Dreams of having her own work displayed on the bland, white walls excited her. What a silly notion. Maybe Mom was right. Jane would never be good enough. Moving to the bench, she grabbed her art history book she’d left the day before.
If some of that description can be worked into Jane’s thoughts about her past or an experience she’s had, then it won’t sound as if it’s just word filler. Because of that addition, the reader learns Jane and her mom don’t have a good relationship, and Jane has always fallen short in her mother’s eyes.
**Information taken from Body Language: A Quick Reference for Character Action and Description. Written by Ann Everett.
Sometimes it takes losing everything…
True Shanahan must be the unluckiest woman in the world. Either that or she’s cursed. After another failed relationship, True leaves Dallas with a broken heart and new attitude. It’s time to walk on the wild side. But when she makes a wrong turn and ends up in Bluebird, Texas, the only man she wants is anything but reckless.
…to find all you’ve ever wanted.
Ritter Malone is the town’s favorite son and has the local hero awards to prove it. Seems he’s always in the right place at the right time. But when he crosses paths with True, his life takes a turn he never sees coming. Her songwriting skills may be questionable, but her ability to turn him inside out is indisputable.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas.
Where a chance meeting gives two people a chance at love.
EXCERPT from True:
Richard and Lisa’s voices returned to normal. Soon they’d come out, and True couldn’t face them. No, she had to leave, so she willed her body into action and sprinted down the hall, to the elevator, and out of the building.
She didn’t remember getting into her car or driving home, but now, she shoved open the door to her apartment and hurled his expensive Corinthian leather attaché to the hardwood floor with so much force it opened. Papers flew into the air.
This couldn’t be happening. Why did she always pick cheaters?
She fell to her knees, laughing and crying at the same time. Her brain was on fire. She shouldn’t have gone to his office but thought he might need the briefcase. No, going there was a good thing. If not, she wouldn’t know about Lisa. True sucked in a breath, then exhaled as she raked the spilled contents into a pile.
What was all this? Passports. Properties. An offshore bank account? She picked up the stapled document and studied it. Ten million dollars? Impossible. Other than splurging on a sports car, he was the most frugal man she knew. His apartment could barely seat four people, and his suits came from department stores. No fancy Rolex either.
She was no financial expert—but Dad was. She grabbed her phone, spread the papers and took pictures of everything, then emailed them to herself. Tomorrow, she’d send them to Dad.
As fast as she could, she packed a suitcase. No way she’d stay here. What she’d heard made it clear. He’d been having an affair from the beginning. Why start dating me if he was already with Lisa? None of it made sense.
Fifteen minutes later, she sped down the highway headed to… She didn’t know. Talk about cursed. Bad enough Richard was a cheater, but possibly a criminal, too? She’d have to go back into therapy.
WHO IS ANN EVERETT?
Ann Everett writes about small-town Texas where the women are sassy enough to say what they want, and the men are panty-melting hot with plenty of southern charm.
She’s an Amazon bestselling author. She’s won awards. She’s a top reviewer on a major writing website, and a regular speaker at Wordwyse Exposytions. No need to bore you with the details. Here are ten things about her more interesting than accolades.
She’s married to her high school sweetheart.
ANN WILL DRAW A NAME FROM ALL COMMENTS AND SOMEONE WILL WIN A FREE EBOOK! DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!
WHERE CAN I FIND THIS BOOK?
CONTACT ANN AT:
Blog URL http://www.anneverett.com/blog/
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/author/ann.everett
Goodreads profile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5195211.Ann_Everett
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ann-everett