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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Deleting the -ing starts

My writing journey part 3. I've been sharing my weaknesses in writing over the past couple weeks. So far I've discussed my usage of adverbs and had or forms of had. Today I share another weakness starting sentences with verbs ending in -ing. 

Shaping my manuscript by taking out pesky words.

I shaped my manuscript when I took out the pesky words.

The -ing problem is easily fixed by changing the form of the verb. The problem alone isn't -ing ending verbs but using them as sentence starts. Below is an excerpt from City by the Bay Baby Girl Book 2. 

Using my best southern drawl, “Bee-utiful night, idn’t it? This is m’ ferst trip to San Fran-cisco and I jus cain’t get over how bee-utiful it is.” The couple seemed alarmed by my sudden appearance. “I’m so sorry, I forget to introduce m’self. Cleo, shat for Cleopaitra, cause m’ daddy always said I look like an Egyptian princess. And ya are?”

“Not as happy to meet you,” he said.

“Babe, that’s rude,”mystery woman whispered towards him, a stern look on her face. It definitely wasn’t the wife. This women was buxom as well, walnut brown hair framing her heart shaped face adorned by a set of amethyst colored eyes. She too was young.  “I’m sorry, pleased to meet you Cleo. I’m Jeanne and this is my husband Fred. So tell, where are you from?” she said in an extra sugary voice.

“Georgia. Nice to meet ya,” I stated. The elevator wound to a stop, and the doors glided open welcoming us in. From the corner of my eye I spied him press the button for the third flood. 

Then he asked, “Floor?”

“Three.” 

“Oh, goody,” he said in a mocking tone. 

Knowing he was more than annoyed with my disruption to his evening with the lady, I looked him square in the eye and formed the largest smile I could muster.She wasn’t the woman and I probably should have gone back to the car; however, I didn’t. My curiosity drove me on. 

The couple couldn’t get out of the elevator fast enough, giggling and whispering as they went. I had no doubt they were having fun at my expense. I walked slowly behind them, fumbling in my pocket pretending to search for my key, as I walked up to room number 316. They never looked back at me, and soon entered their room. The fa├žade was over, and I wasn’t sure what to do next, but someone else had other plans.

Abruptly, I turned on my heel to face a redhead, the redhead, Mrs. Nomes. Her flaming red big-hair gave her a very gnome-like appearance. Inwardly I laughed at my own observation. “I’ve been watching you sweety. What are you up to?” Oops, maybe he had gotten bored and had traded her in for a younger model, seeing her close up she had to be at least thirty.

“I’s just headin’ back to ma car, lef ma room key thare.” She looked at me quizzically. I may have went too heavy on the accent. “Scuse me.” I pushed past her, and felt her fingers grasp the camera cord around my neck, halting my forward motion and giving me a jerk. 


“You’re coming with me.”

I counted 2 -ing sentence starts which should be used sparingly in fiction.
5 adverbs
7 had or forms of

Here is the edited excerpt.

I used spilt-second thinking and pulled the cord dangling from the camera around my neck to appear touristy, and stepped out of my corner, joining them at the elevator. 

 “Bee-utiful night, idn’t it? This is m’ ferst trip to San Fran-cisco and I jus cain’t get over how bee-utiful it is.” The couple seemed alarmed by my sudden appearance. “I’m so sorry, I forget to introduce m’self. Cleo, shat for Cleopaitra, cause m’ daddy always said I look like an Egyptian princess. And ya are?”

“Not as happy to meet you,” he said.

“Babe, that’s rude.” The mystery woman whispered towards him, a stern look on her face. It wasn’t the wife. This woman was buxom as the wife, walnut brown hair framing her heart shaped face adorned by a set of amethyst colored eyes. She too was young. 

“I’m sorry, pleased to meet you Cleo. I’m Jeanne and this is my husband Fred. So tell, where are you from?” She used an extra sugary voice.

“Georgia. Nice to meet ya.” The elevator wound to a stop, and the doors glided open welcoming us. From the corner of my eye I spied him press the button for the third floor. 

“Floor?”

“Three.” 

“Oh, goody,” he said in a mocking tone. 

I knew he was more than annoyed with my disruption to his evening with the lady, I looked him square in the eye and formed a large smile. She wasn’t the woman and I should have gone back to the car; however, I didn’t. My curiosity drove me. 

The couple ran walked out of the elevator, giggling and whispering as they went. No doubt they were having fun at my expense. I walked behind them, fumbling in my pocket pretending to search for my key, as I walked up to room number 316. They never looked back at me and soon entered their room. The fa├žade was over, and I wasn’t sure what to do next, but someone else had other plans.

Abruptly, I turned on my heel to face a redhead, the redhead, Mrs. Nomes. Her flaming red big-hair gave her a gnome-like appearance. Inwardly, I laughed at my own observation. “I’ve been watching you sweety. What are you up to?” Oops, maybe he got bored and traded her in for a younger model, seeing her close up, she had to be at least thirty.


“I’s just headin’ back to ma car, lef ma room key thare.” She scrunched her eyes and blinked several times. I may have went too heavy on the accent. “Scuse me.” I pushed past her, and felt her fingers grasp the camera cord around my neck, halting my forward motion and giving me a jerk. 

How many did you count?
I counted no -ing sentence starts.
2 adverbs
3 had or forms of

All 4 books have been edited. I'm doing one last sweep as I read through. Once I complete my final sweep each book will be ready for re-release! I'm excited!

A multi-talented author and colleague Manuela Cardiga graciously designed new covers for each book. They are amazing and I can't wait to show them off. Click her name and check out her poetry, fiction, and graphic design on her website.

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