Before You Submit: What a Character Sees

Do you have a draft of your novel or short story and are thinking of submitting to an agent, publisher or writing contest? My series called Before You Submit might help. This series contains hints and tips I’ve received from professionals in the publishing industry. Each week I’ll share a new tip.

This week I’ll write about What a Character Sees.

The advice I received is not to write that a character saw something. Just describe whatever ‘that something’ is. The reader knows you are in a character’s point of view and that the character ‘sees’ what you are describing. For example:

Kendra walked toward the office door and peeked inside. She saw her new boss throwing his phone against the wall.

The recommended change to the sentence was:

Kendra stood in the open doorway to her boss’s office. Her new boss threw his phone against the wall.

This not only shortens the sentence, thereby not wasting the reader’s time with boring details, the change gets rid of stating what the character saw.

I hope this helps improve your writing.

See Before You Submit:Likeable Characters for the first blog in this series and an introduction the benefits of submitting even if you get a rejection letter.

Thanks for reading . . .


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