To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Read What's New Join
Faith
Writers
Forum
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:40 am

JudySauer wrote:Doreen was heading home and focused on her book. Next to her sat a large man. She inched closer to the window for easement. When the train she was riding went through tunnels she regrets not having purchased a back-lit e-reader. Note to herself: get a book light. The screeching train stopped abruptly in mid-tunnel. This is never a good situation. The only light was from the flickering tube in the tunnel. Panic set in. Her breathing stilled in her throat. Upon making a choking sound, the man said in a soft voice, "Ma'am? Would you please hold my hand?"


Judy, thanks for giving this a shot! You definitely retained the tension of the moment, and the abrupt switch from Doreen's annoyment to the man's surprising fear (which was the main point of the original paragraph).

A few minor things:

Doreen wouldn't think about herself in 3rd person, so that part should probably be Note to myself.

You made a quick switch into present tense in an otherwise past tense paragraph when you used "she regrets" instead of "she regretted."

I feel like some of your shorter sentences could be combined; this is a bit choppy.

But the important thing is that you tightened and trimmed the original, and your choices about what to keep and what to snip were spot on.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

User avatar
CatLin
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:46 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby CatLin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:20 pm

I just saw this post and dug right in to the homework. Love this lesson!
Cat

Doreen focused on her book while the subway clacked through stations. The goliath hunkered beside her made her edgy, so she inched against the window and dug in. When the train sped through the second tunnel, still far from home, Doreen wished—again—she had one of those backlit e-books. She closed her book and moved her thigh away from the man’s. The train screeched to a halt; the only light came from a flickering tube. Her breathing stalled. When she made a small choking sound, the man said, in a surprisingly soft voice, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand?”
Catrina Bradley
FaithWriters Profile
Scattered Seeds
Jewels of Encouragement

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

User avatar
CatLin
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
Pencil Plus (Over 500 Posts)
 
Posts: 5884
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:46 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby CatLin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:15 pm

Here's a funny story (I'll try to keep under 100 words. :) ). When I saw this post, I looked at the original date: 9/16. Cool! I was thrilled to see that you had 5 pages of replies already! Wow!

I did the homework and then started reading backwards. It wasn't until page 2 that I noticed that the original posting date was September of 2013. :thumbs :lol:
Catrina Bradley
FaithWriters Profile
Scattered Seeds
Jewels of Encouragement

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (The Message)

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:12 pm

CatLin wrote:I just saw this post and dug right in to the homework. Love this lesson!
Cat

Doreen focused on her book while the subway clacked through stations. The goliath hunkered beside her made her edgy, so she inched against the window and dug in. When the train sped through the second tunnel, still far from home, Doreen wished—again—she had one of those backlit e-books. She closed her book and moved her thigh away from the man’s. The train screeched to a halt; the only light came from a flickering tube. Her breathing stalled. When she made a small choking sound, the man said, in a surprisingly soft voice, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand?”



I have nothing to say about this--except that I love your word choices!
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

lookinup
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 5:47 pm

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby lookinup » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:45 pm

I love this lesson, especially after having enrolled in the 6-month Writers' Improvement program that FW is offering that includes a quarterly Challenge Article Editors' critique. Well, here goes...now for the homework.

Doreen didn’t look up from her book while the subway clacked through station after station. She was aware of the big man sitting heavily next to her, but she inched closer to the window and dug in with her left shoulder. When the train sped through the second of five long tunnels before her home stop, Doreen wished—not for the first time—that she had bought one of those backlit electronic books. She held her finger in the book and moved her thigh away from the man’s blue jeans. The train came to a screeching halt, still in the tunnel; the only light came from a dimly flickering tube overhead. Panicked, she felt her breathing stall in her throat. When she made a small choking sound, the man said, in a surprisingly soft voice, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”


Feeling smothered by the heavy-set man tipped toward her from his adjacent subway seat, Doreen hyper-focused on her book. Regretting not having purchased a Kindle Reader, she inched away, struggling to read in the flickering overhead light as the train careened through the five consecutive narrow tunnels that led toward home. Panic hit and she stifled a scream when the train screeched to a halt and her seatmate said softly, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”
Catherine - Keep Lookin' Up! :thumbs

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:57 pm

lookinup wrote:I love this lesson, especially after having enrolled in the 6-month Writers' Improvement program that FW is offering that includes a quarterly Challenge Article Editors' critique. Well, here goes...now for the homework.

Doreen didn’t look up from her book while the subway clacked through station after station. She was aware of the big man sitting heavily next to her, but she inched closer to the window and dug in with her left shoulder. When the train sped through the second of five long tunnels before her home stop, Doreen wished—not for the first time—that she had bought one of those backlit electronic books. She held her finger in the book and moved her thigh away from the man’s blue jeans. The train came to a screeching halt, still in the tunnel; the only light came from a dimly flickering tube overhead. Panicked, she felt her breathing stall in her throat. When she made a small choking sound, the man said, in a surprisingly soft voice, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”


Feeling smothered by the heavy-set man tipped toward her from his adjacent subway seat, Doreen hyper-focused on her book. Regretting not having purchased a Kindle Reader, she inched away, struggling to read in the flickering overhead light as the train careened through the five consecutive narrow tunnels that led toward home. Panic hit and she stifled a scream when the train screeched to a halt and her seatmate said softly, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”


Well done! The only small suggestion I'd make is to look at your sentence structures: of the three sentences in your paragraph, two have the same structure (a phrase beginning with an -ing verb, followed by what Doreen did).
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
 
Posts: 17035
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Deb Porter » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:56 pm

Okay ... what happened next? I'm on the edge of my seat.

Image

(LOL ... sorry. Unofficial Tight Writing Lesson comment.)

:lol:
Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator
Breath of Fresh Air Press

Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

Image

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:01 pm

She held his hand.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

User avatar
Deb Porter
FaithWriters and Site Admin
FaithWriters and Site Admin
 
Posts: 17035
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:02 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Deb Porter » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:06 pm

glorybee wrote:She held his hand.


:thankssign

And they both lived happily ever after. :hugs3
Deb
FaithWriters' Writing Challenge Co-ordinator
Breath of Fresh Air Press

Breath of Fresh Air Press - a little publisher with a lot of heart

Image

Walkerbunch
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:47 am

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Walkerbunch » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:41 am

Thanks Jan, I've had a go....
Love the idea of the 100 word blog. What a great discipline.
Ruth

Doreen stared blankly at her book. Clack-CLACK, clack-CLACK. She was aware of the big man sitting heavily next to her. Another station, another tunnel. She wished again that she'd brought her electronic book. Keeping place between the pages with a finger, she inched away from the man's large thigh. Awkward. A sudden braking lurched them forward as the train came to a screeching halt, still in the tunnel. Panicked, she felt her breathing stall in her throat. A small choke involuntarily betrayed her panic, as a surprisingly soft voice beside her tightly appealed, "Ma'am, would you hold my hand, please?"

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:48 am

Walkerbunch wrote:Thanks Jan, I've had a go....
Love the idea of the 100 word blog. What a great discipline.
Ruth

Doreen stared blankly at her book. Clack-CLACK, clack-CLACK. She was aware of the big man sitting heavily next to her. Another station, another tunnel. She wished again that she'd brought her electronic book. Keeping place between the pages with a finger, she inched away from the man's large thigh. Awkward. A sudden braking lurched them forward as the train came to a screeching halt, still in the tunnel. Panicked, she felt her breathing stall in her throat. A small choke involuntarily betrayed her panic, as a surprisingly soft voice beside her tightly appealed, "Ma'am, would you hold my hand, please?"


Well done! I'd only change two tiny things: I'd put the clacks of the train in italics (a good way to format onomatopoeia), and I'd also put 'Awkward' in italics (a good way to format thoughts). Oh, one more thing--three adverbs in one sentence are a bit much--I'll let you find that one. But you did a very good job at portraying Doreen's peevishness and her panic, and the suprise for the reader that the big man is as afraid as she is.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

User avatar
Shann
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7170
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Western NY super rural

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Shann » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:47 pm

glorybee wrote:
Walkerbunch wrote:Thanks Jan, I've had a go....
Love the idea of the 100 word blog. What a great discipline.
Ruth

Doreen stared blankly at her book. Clack-CLACK, clack-CLACK. She was aware of the big man sitting heavily next to her. Another station, another tunnel. She wished again that she'd brought her electronic book. Keeping place between the pages with a finger, she inched away from the man's large thigh. Awkward. A sudden braking lurched them forward as the train came to a screeching halt, still in the tunnel. Panicked, she felt her breathing stall in her throat. A small choke involuntarily betrayed her panic, as a surprisingly soft voice beside her tightly appealed, "Ma'am, would you hold my hand, please?"


Well done! I'd only change two tiny things: I'd put the clacks of the train in italics (a good way to format onomatopoeia), and I'd also put 'Awkward' in italics (a good way to format thoughts). Oh, one more thing--three adverbs in one sentence are a bit much--I'll let you find that one. But you did a very good job at portraying Doreen's peevishness and her panic, and the suprise for the reader that the big man is as afraid as she is.


Although Jan mentioned putting the onomatopoeia in italics, I want to go a step farther and refer you to her recent lesson on just that topic. I know you're new to the forums, Ruth, so you probably haven't spotted it yet. Check it out: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=39915

(Sorry for stepping in, Jan, but I liked that lesson and wanted to trillll your praises. :mrgreen: )
Shann

Shann's Profile

Sometimes God calms the storm; Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:18 pm

Shann wrote:
Although Jan mentioned putting the onomatopoeia in italics, I want to go a step farther and refer you to her recent lesson on just that topic. I know you're new to the forums, Ruth, so you probably haven't spotted it yet. Check it out: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=39915

(Sorry for stepping in, Jan, but I liked that lesson and wanted to trillll your praises. :mrgreen: )


Thanks, Shann. Trilled praises are always nice.

But I have to un-bite my tongue and send you back to the lesson for a moment; you'll see that I don't recommend the italicizing when the onomatopoeia is a verb--only when it's used as a interjection. So:

I wanted to trill your praises, OR
I loved that lesson so much that I howled a trilllll, like Berber warriors on their galloping horses.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

Caleb Cheong
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:12 am

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby Caleb Cheong » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:41 am

Hi Jan!

May I have a go?

Doreen glued to her book while the subway clacked relentlessly. Realising the big chap next to her, she inched towards the window, exposing her left shoulder. When the train sped through the second of five tunnels before her home's , Doreen wished to have a backlit electronic books. While holding her book, she moved her thigh away from his jeans. The train screeched and halted in the tunnel, only lighted by a flickering, solitary, tube overhead. Panicked, she breathed heavily, then choked slightly. Surprisingly, the man asked gently, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”

(94 words)

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--TIGHT WRITING

Postby glorybee » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:56 am

Caleb Cheong wrote:Hi Jan!

May I have a go?

Doreen glued to her book while the subway clacked relentlessly. Realising the big chap next to her, she inched towards the window, exposing her left shoulder. When the train sped through the second of five tunnels before her home's , Doreen wished to have a backlit electronic books. While holding her book, she moved her thigh away from his jeans. The train screeched and halted in the tunnel, only lighted by a flickering, solitary, tube overhead. Panicked, she breathed heavily, then choked slightly. Surprisingly, the man asked gently, “Ma’am? Would you hold my hand, please?”

(94 words)


Thanks, Caleb. You've retained the most important part of the scenario--Doreen's irritation and her fear, and the surprise of the big man's panic.

There are a few awkward phrases that maybe could be fixed if you added six more words back in (since the 'homework' was to use exactly 100 words). For example, 'Doreen glued to her book' isn't the typical way of saying this--it's usually 'Doreen was glued to her book.'

Also, you have 'realising the big chap next to her' seems to be missing a word or two. You could have 'realising there was a big chap next to her' or 'resenting the big chap next to her,' for example.

Finally, in the last two sentences, you have four adverbs--heavily, slightly, surprisingly, gently. That might be 2 or 3 adverbs too many--in general, I recommend using a strong verb rather than a verb+adverb combination.
Jan Ackerson -- Follow me, friend me, give me a wave!
http://www.superioreditingservice.com
Twitter: @janackerson1
Instagram: janackerson
Facebook: Jan Worgul Ackerson, Superior Editing Service, Jan Ackerson, writer

PreviousNext

Return to Jan's Writing Basics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron

© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes