Happy April and happy spring, everyone! I know that there's still snow on the ground for a lot of people, but the smell of things thawing is finally in the air here in my little corner of New Hampshire. I've got the window cracked, one of my favorite singers on the stereo (Sara Bareilles, for those curious), and a half hour to write this before my "real job" starts. So let's delve into the first blue part of our editing list, which deals with Beats and Proportion!
First off, what are "beats"? When it comes to writing, they're the breaks in dialogue or action. Chelsea said is a beat, for example, as is He stopped to wait for the traffic before crossing. You need beats to let your reader digest what you've given them so far - it's like pausing to let someone else speak in conversation, even though you can't actually let your reader talk back to you.
Proportion is pretty simple - your passages need to be balanced. Follow up lengthy descriptions with short ones, or try not to have too many long conversation-heavy scenes in a row.
Now that I've defined things a little bit, let's move on to this week's checklist! As my mother would say, "It's a big'un, Jase."
That about does it for this week's checklist - and look at that, I made it through with a minute to spare. Pardon me while I run like a coordination-challenged gazelle so that I can make it to work on time. Next week is all about one of my personal favorites: dialogue! It's gonna be a fun one. Until then, keep writing, keep reading, and keep on rockin' in the free world.
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