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Chunking It Down

Slightly Odd Critiquing Terms

A client mis-interpreted a suggestion I made for her this week, and it got me thinking about some of the critiquing terms I use, which at times are slightly odd.  And since this is a blog about writing but most of the time I write about mindset, motivation, and inspiration, I thought it might be nice to actually do a post about something writing-ish. Pencil-coloured-note-9236-l

So here's a list of common phrases and words I use when critiquing:

1.  Fleshing out.  As in, put more flesh on it.  Add some heft.  Expand the scene or description or dialogue.  Make it come alive so I can see it.  Interestingly, we generally think that revising is a process of paring away.  I find most often it is a process of adding on. 

2.  Mount on the page.  God, I hope the spiders don't assume this is a porn page.  Anyway, when I talk about mounting on the page it means you have not given me the full picture yet.   The scene is no doubt alive and well in your head, but you haven't gotten all the elements to the page yet.  Similar to #1.

3.  Root in scene.  Have you ever read a manuscript where there's lots of action and dialogue but you have no idea where the characters actually are?  This is another common problem.  The fix is to go back to the location through a line of description or action every so often.  Such as, "She set the glass down on the table."  Just one line here and there can help to root the reader in the scene.

4.  G.D.  No, its not a swear word, its an abbreviation for Go Deeper.  You need to get in to the paragraph and pull it apart.  Really get to the meaning of it.  Enter the spaces between the sentences and find out what's going on.

5.  Make scene.  This is just what it sounds like.  You've probably had a long thread of narrative going and now you need you some scene.  Put the characters in action in real time, like something you'd see on a movie screen.  And now you have yourself a scene.  It is the difference between showing and telling.  Readers like showing much better.

So those are my top five critiquing phrases.  What words and phrases do you use?  Which ones have you come across?

Photo by JR3.

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