Passive Was Words

EditingBefore I re-publish Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove through CreateSpace, I decided to read through and correct errors I had made in 2010. This book was the first book I self-published.

Initially, I went through Blurb to create paperback copies. They were fairly expensive, and this 31,000-word story geared towards kids between the ages of ten and fourteen cost me almost nine dollars to get to my door. With the US / Canada dollar exchange, it would cost a little more today.

Fast forward to CreateSpace, and now this same book will cost between four and five dollars.

Before I reprint it though, I want to improve the reading experience. After all, I’m a better writer now than I was six years ago. I have learned a lot about storytelling and editing. This novel was also my first experience working with an editor, and perhaps I may have not fully realised what should and shouldn’t have been changed.

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How to Annihilate Was

In a previous post I made a confession: I am a was girl. Was makes our sentences passive and we need to wipe them from the face of our stories unless they’re absolutely necessary. But how do we go about doing that?

Knowing we must do something is different than knowing how to do that something.

Let’s take a look at how I’ve tackled the was words in my current project, the fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone. Chapter 15 contained 4814 words, including 86 was words. When I finished, there were only six of those three-letter words remaining.

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