Friday, May 1, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Cape Cod Weather Today: Cloudy, high layer of thick fog, 51 degrees and light rain at the moment, chances of heavier rain and storm later... and more rain predicted through the weekend...

I finished mowing the yard yesterday. I even got the Scotts Lawn Spreader out and put down the grub killer in the front and side yards (I skipped the backyard, I woulda had to open the other bag...and I was tired...) First, I did all my dump runs, including the 8 barrels of leaves the kids raked up at the beginning of vacation week and then left in the backyard without lids on them all through the rainy week (imagine 50 pound barrels of soaking wet leaves!) The guy at the dump wanted to charge me $$$, but I insisted they were just wet leaves (leaves are free) and he squinted at me skeptically, but waved me through.

Today, though, is Grey. Grey Day. Grey Friday.

On the bright side (which is internal, not external) I finished rewriting the first four chapters, and am really happy with it. I asked my 11-year-old to read page one on-screen to see if it was engaging and he kept reading through chapter 2 before I stopped him to finish his homework before karate class. He knows this book. Hell, he inspired this book. But yet he was still intrigued by the descriptions I'd added.

"I didn't know Prince Theo was only 4, with a cherubic face," he said. "That means angel-like, right? I'd pictured him as a teenager."

me: "So?"

"Well," he continued, "It makes it way worse when the bad guy kills him like that at the beginning. He sounds cute and then you kill him right off."

me: "Is that bad?"

"No, no," he rushed to assure me. "It makes the bad guy even badder. I can't wait to see what he does next."

me: "But you know what he does next."

"Yeah... but it sounds more exciting now."

me: "Go finish your homework now, and I'll get you pizza for dinner."

The power of adding descriptions. I guess it's a fine line between using adjectives and over-using adjectives. Between showing and telling. I'm so busy trying to follow all the advice I've read about keeping it spare and slicing out the "-ly" words (adverbs, for those of you who're grammatically challenged) ...that maybe I cut it too thin and took out the flavor. I try not to cook with salt, either. But then you end up having to add salt before you eat the food. To bring out the flavor.

So I'm sprinkling in the adjectives and descriptors now, like salt, after the character and plot are established in my head and on the page. To bring out the flavor. To make the reader want more.

Hope it works.

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