Learning to hush up

I'm taking a bunch of free online workshops. In past years, these have been the bee's knees. Now I'm so full of opinions that I can barely read a line of the presentation before I want to say, "now wait a moment. Where the hell did you read that rule? And what makes you think it's worth following?" I have to hit delete on various workshop emails before I write the verging-on-flame (definitely snotty) retorts.

For instance.... what is this current rage for ridding the world of "ing" words? Hmm? Sometimes the damn words are fine. People skitter around trying to avoid them and end up with long garbled sentences. Are they hoping to avoid all forms of to be? de"was" ing? Looking for signs of passive voice? That it? I'd look it all up but I know it'll all end with a headache.

Now I'm heading back to the old online workshops that I've saved over the years to see if I was soaking up wisdom of the ages or second-hand garbled tripe. Probably both.

I plan to add my own to the pile of presentations. A whole thing about POV. Here, I'll post a bit of it. You feel free to tell me how wrong I am. I could use the help, plus it'll lower my snotty bitch mode a few notches. God knows I could use that about now.

Here’s a quickie review of the basics:
First person= I
Second person (lots of experimental fiction uses this)= You
Third person=he/she

Third person/omniscient=I was taught that this means a view of everybody, inside and out, with a strong author’s voice as narrator. The author as God. Now seems to mean a kind of outside camera angle, more of a third person objective.

Third person subjective=limited to one character, inside and out, all other characters only from outside.

Third person deep=same as third person subjective. This POV is as limited and deep as first person. Most romance seems to be written with this POV.

Third person objective=rarely seen in a romance. No thoughts revealed! All seen from outside. Think camera. These days often referred to as omniscient.


  1. muhahahahahah

    Ok evil editor speaks - I don't mind ing words as long as you don't use them at the beginning of a sentence.

    Shutting the door, she walked down the path - NO

    She shut the door and walked down the path - YES

  2. what about
    Breathing hard, she leaned over the figure.

  3. I'm not an editor, but I'm an English teacher, so . . .

    Kate, your example is correct (although that doesn't mean an agent/editor would like it, LOL). The action expressed with a introductory participle (what that -ing word is, btw) must occur simultaneously with the sentence's verb.

    Look at Jaynie's example -- improper use of particple and should be revised.

    Look at your example -- simultaneous actions. Works.

    But what do I know? You're published and I'm not. ;-)

  4. Simultaneous actions is exactly why editors don't like it. It is a lot harder for the reader to keep track of similtaneous actions, than to have each action spelt out one at a time so they can picture the event as it happens.

  5. on the other hand, one of my editors hates it when I start several consecutive sentences and/or paragraphs with "She" or "Person's Name" and so I'm always lookin' for ways to shuffle stuff (without going into passive voice).

    lazy Kate


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

My Writing Day with an Unproductive Brain