Excerpts from “Creative Writing Essentials for Young Writers” by L. Stewart Hearl

When the Going Gets Tough, the Sentences Get Shorter

During an action sequence, this would be a big mistake: “As we came around the corner of the damp and poorly-lit dungeon barricade, the thousand-pound, yellow and sickly green Thoraxy, with its huge eye and giant, pink bunny ears, took a solid stand, which seemed to indicate, to me at least, that it wasn’t going to let us pass no matter what we could do.”

 

Not very exciting, was it? Why? There are far too many words here. Description is important, but a large helping of description during an action sequence completely kills the mood of excitement you are trying to create. Incidentally, try not to use very long sentences anyway. It doesn’t impress anyone except retired English professors. You should use sentences no longer than eight or nine words during an action sequence. No one pontificates when they’re in a gun battle and lives.

 

Add a Chuckle
Humor is something that can spice up almost any story.  Consider the recent film “Guardians of the Galaxy”.  While it is certainly an action/adventure film, it also contains copious amounts of humor.

 

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how to be funny.  What I can say is that it is not a series of jokes. It must be situational humor.  A good example of this is the hugely popular “Big Bang Theory” – a sitcom (situational comedy). If you can make your reader smile, cool.  If you can make them laugh out loud, perfect! Below is a small example.

 

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

Some poems rhyme.

This one doesn’t.

from “Creative Writing Essentials for Young Writers” by L. Stewart Hearl (Kindle)

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