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Tips-y Tuesday: Keeping the Writing Train on Track

Last week on Tips-y Tuesday we talked about how wasted time is never wasted. This week I’d like to talk about one of the most difficult parts of writing: staying on track and writing consistently.

We’ve talked before about scheduling dates with writing in order to finish your project within the timeframe you want. For example, if you want to finish writing a book in four months, you can do it easily as long as you come up with a reasonable schedule.

But even if you come up with the greatest writing schedule in the world… it means nothing if you don’t stick to it.

Of course nobody is going to stick to their schedule 100%. Emergencies and unplanned events come up that force us to to retreat out of our writing caves and into the burning light of the real world (unfortunately).

“Ugh, god! What is that horrible light seeping
into my wonderfully cold and damp prison cell?”


But the vast majority of the time, we are able to write. Whether it’s at home after work, or on the weekends, or when we suddenly find ourselves with nothing to do, we are perfectly capable of starting/continuing that novel or short story, and yet, very often we don’t.

Why is that? I believe there are two reason: (1) we honestly just forget sometimes, and (2) writing is a lot harder to bring ourselves to do than watching TV/YouTube/Netflix/killing time doing nothing.

The way I get around both of these problems at once is by using a schedule book. At the beginning of each week, I write down everything I’m planning on doing each day for the upcoming week. Then, as I do things, I cross them off.

A week in my schedule book.
I really enjoy crossing things out.


I know this may seem old-fashioned in the era of smartphones, but honestly, there is just something so visceral about writing down your schedule and then crossing it out that you can’t get on a phone. When you write it down, it already feels like you’re one step of the way there, which you don’t really feel on the phone. And the mental satisfaction of crossing it out with a pen as opposed to deleting/striking-out is incomparable.

It probably sounds crazy to anyone who hasn’t tried it, but if you’re having trouble sticking to a writing schedule, then writing down every day in a schedule book to “write one page” might actually be helpful. So long as you don’t allow yourself to go to bed before that one page is complete, no matter how messy it may end up, you will stick to your schedule. And it’s a lot harder to ignore something you’ve written yourself in a book than just data on a screen.

For those who are worried that they might lose or forget to check their schedule book, try just leaving it in your writing area, or another place you sit at every day (kitchen table, living room chair, etc), that way you can’t miss it. And your schedule book doesn’t even have to be a “book,” it can be a printout you hang on the wall above your bed or desk or TV or whatever you want.

I know I personally would have never finished a novel if it weren’t for my paper-and-pen schedule book. It’s like having a nagging friend always by your side, asking you “did you write your one page yet?” And since there’s no better feeling in the world than shutting that friend up by crossing out your daily writing amount, it makes it even easier to reach your goal.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)
(Insert image via GAHAG)

Masterpiece Monday: Do You Need to Spice up “Said?”

Last week on Masterpiece Monday we saw how inside jokes between the reader and narrator can be effective at drawing us in. This week I’d like pull back and show off some examples of something that I know is hard for me to do: spice up the word “said.”

Whenever I’m writing, I want to get across in my reader’s head exactly how I’m visualizing the scene. So when two characters are having a conversation, I love to throw in “spiced-up versions” of the word “said.” Things like this:

“Oh you’re too much!” he laughed.
“Get down here right now!” she yelled.
“I hate you,” she spat.

But here’s the thing – most of the time, you don’t need to spice up the word “said.” Good writers, unlike myself, are able to convey how the characters speak without needing to resort to long verbs that could slow down the prose.

Here’s an example from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. It takes place just after Hazel and her mother arrive in Amsterdam and they flag down a taxi.

After getting our bags and clearing customs, we all piled into a taxi driven by this doughy bald guy who spoke perfect English—like better English than I do. “The Hotel Filosoof?” I said.
And he said, “You are Americans?”
“Yes,” Mom said. “We’re from Indiana.”
“Indiana,” he said. “They steal the land from the Indians and leave the name, yes?”
“Something like that,” Mom said.

Did you notice while you were reading? Just that one scene uses the word “said” five times… in a row!

Many editors would slice through most of them with their red pen, but I’m not sure they’d be correct in doing so. Yes, the author technically repeats the same word over and over, but it flows so well. If the author had instead used different verbs like “mumbled” or “guffawed,” or decided to commit the ultimate literary sin and use adverbs like “Mom said quickly,” then the scene would’ve been bogged down by needless words and syllables.

But it’s just one syllable/word, right? How much of a difference can it make? Subconsciously, quite a bit. The scene is supposed to be fast-paced, and any excess letters on the page will slow it down. We saw before how a longer action scene can take something fast and fun and make it boring, and the same goes for snappy dialogue as well.

I know that I’m tempted all the time to use other words besides “said” in my writing. And while sometimes it can be correct to do so, a lot of the time I use fancier “said” verbs as a crutch. The words the characters use and their personalities should dictate how they say things, not unnecessary description.

So the next time you’re scratching your head wondering what word to use in place of “said,” just try using “said.” If the same emotion you’re aiming for isn’t coming through, then maybe it’d be better to change the words coming out of the character’s mouth instead.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Tips-y Tuesday: Wasted Time is not Wasted

Last week on Tips-y Tuesday we looked at how sharing our writing is scarier than Halloween but totally worth it. This week I’d like to talk about something I know I fear as a writer: wasting time.

Whenever I start a new writing project, one fear above all hovers over me: the fear that I’m wasting my time. Not that I’m wasting my time because the book might not get published (see Finding “The One” for more on that fear), but that I’m wasting my time because halfway into the book – or maybe when I reach the end – I might discover that I don’t like where it’s going and will have to scratch it.

And if that were to happen, months – perhaps years – of my life would have been wasted on something that didn’t matter.

Ugh, I could’ve spent all that time
watching YouTube instead!


But one thing I’ve realized after years of producing things that I’ve scrapped partway through is this: the time spent working on those projects was not wasted. I know it may sound like a coping mechanism (“I’d better tell myself it wasn’t wasted time or else I’ll go crazy!”), but that’s not the truth. It really was worthwhile.

Here’s a recent example. My wife is currently working on a book that she’s been wanting to write for a while. It’s her first attempt at writing anything longer than a few pages, so it’s quite a challenge. But I advised her to just keep writing at a half-page pace per day (half the speed I aim for) and to just see what happens.

Four months into the project, she hit a roadblock. About halfway through writing the book, her mind’s fuel display crashed hard onto Empty. She didn’t know where the story was going, wasn’t happy with a lot she’d written, and just felt like she’d wasted a lot of her time accomplishing nothing.

So I took a look. The first chapter was basically what you’d expect from a budding writer (needed to slow down and crack open her scenes with more details), but there were two things that stuck out: dragons and pizza. It may sound silly but the story kept going back to those two things, mostly because she just felt obligated to fill up half a page and wrote about one of her two favorite things.

“And then the dragon ordered a pizza and he was like, ‘Yeah I need to finish my half-page for today, so I’m writing about pizza.’ And then the pizza came and it was good but a little too spicy for him.”


But where she saw failure in the dragons and pizza, I saw promise. What if instead of dragons being distant and mythical, they were up-close and common. And what if instead of pizza being delivered in cars they were delivered… on dragons? And what if the story was about one such dragon pizza delivery girl?

That immediately set her off on a flood of inspiration. Within an hour, she had a new book outlined and ready to go based on the new idea. After looking it over, it sounded much more compelling and exciting than the last one (even if it was about a dragon pizza-delivery girl!), and she was so into it she wrote the first few pages right then and there.

I’m not saying you have to write about pizza and dragons (although honestly why do we bother writing about anything else?), but I will say that if she hadn’t spent those months “wasting” her time with the previous project, the new better one would have never come about.

So if you’re hesitant to start a new writing project because you think it will just end up being a waste of time… then maybe you’re right! And maybe that “waste of time” might end up inspiring something even better in the future.

Or maybe the thing you create will just be awesome in and of itself. If so, let me just say, I’m jealous.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)
(Insert image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Masterpiece Monday: Inside Jokes between Reader and Narrator

Last week on Masterpiece Monday we saw examples of good action scenes that build tension by subtracting things. This week I’d like to show off an awesome example of something more subtle: callbacks.

Callbacks happen when a detail in your story refers to something that happened earlier. They’re cool because they make the reader feel like they’re rewarded just for reading. It’s like a little inside joke between reader and narrator.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has some excellent callbacks in it. Here’s one of my favorite ones from the very beginning, when the narrator Hazel talks about her cancer, her “depression,” and her support group:

“Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”

Then just a few paragraphs later we get this:

“This Support Group featured a rotating cast of characters in various states of tumor-driven unwellness. Why did the cast rotate? A side effect of dying.”

The repeated “side effect of dying” bit is super effective here. It not only emphasizes how all-encompassing thinking about dying is for Hazel, but also her cynical and slightly macabre sense of humor.

The same kind of callback happens soon afterward:

“I didn’t want to take the elevator because taking the elevator is a Last Days kind of activity at Support Group, so I took the stairs.”

Then a little later:

“Michael was next. He was twelve. He had leukemia. He’d always had leukemia. He was okay. (Or so he said. He’d taken the elevator.)”

If you hadn’t read the part earlier about the elevator being for kids on their “last days,” then that final bit wouldn’t have made sense. But with that proper setup, we get a chilling reminder of Hazel’s reality and another peek into how she emotionally deals with it.

Though there are more callbacks through the rest of the book, I really like these ones in the first chapter for another reason: they help to establish a bond between the reader and Hazel. Right away it’s like we’re part of little (albeit grim) inside jokes with her. Such a powerful bond between reader and main character helps ensure that we care about them quickly and want to keep reading to see what happens to them.

Having trouble getting readers to relate to/care about your main character? Try adding in some callbacks in chapter one and see what happens. We can’t all write like John Green, but we can at least try to learn from the pieces that make his characters so awesome.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)


Tips-y Tuesday: Sharing our Writing – Scarier than Halloween

Last week on Tips-y Tuesday we looked at how to schedule a hot date… with writing. This week I’d like to talk about something that I and many other writers dread doing: sharing our work with others.

I was inspired to write about this after reading a recent blog post at Operation Awesome. It was an interview with Brandon Ho, a screenwriter, where he talked about his journey going from “script to screen.” You can read the full post here.

There’s a lot to learn from Brandon’s words, but one part I really liked was this that he had to say about sharing your work:

“It’s hard to share my writing with others and hear them say it doesn’t work. But an amazing thing happens when you show it to someone else and put your personal guards down. You get to see how someone experiences what you made through their eyes.”

I think that’s a really beautiful way of expressing something that we all usually either take for granted or outright fear: the opinions of others.

When we pour our heart and souls into writing something, and then we show it to someone else, we want nothing more than for them to leap for joy and say what an incredible piece of art it is. But the amount of times that has actually happened in the history of humankind if approximately… zero.

I ran a writing group for several years, and there wasn’t a single time that a member shared a story to the universal delight of everyone else. There was always at least one person who was confused/had suggestions for changes/hated it, and usually those people were in the majority.

And for good reason. When we write something, it’s coming from inside our heads and onto the paper. Something that is so vivid in our own minds can become bland when our own brain isn’t there to fill in all the missing details.

Writing is like trying to convey a dream you had to another person, and honestly when was the last time you were seriously interested in listening to someone else’s dream?



But what Brandon’s quote gets at is the fact that sometimes it doesn’t matter if the other person doesn’t see what you want them to see in your writing. Sometimes they see things that you didn’t intend. They come into it with their own brain, their own experiences, and can interpret it a completely different way.

One of the best parts of writing is when you create something that someone else makes their own. Whether by latching on to a side character that you threw in at the last second, or by coming up with completely different themes than you intended, or when they make predictions for what will happen that are wildly off track.

When that happens, it shows that they’re going beyond just “liking” what you wrote; they were sucked in enough to “care” about what you wrote.

Getting someone to care about something is pretty much the greatest accomplishment anyone can have. Unfortunately we have to do the scary sharing to get it, but thinking about sharing as “I wonder how their brain will interpret this” instead of “I hope their brain interprets it this one certain way!” might make it a little easier.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)
(Insert image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Masterpiece Monday: Writing Action by Subtraction

Last week on Masterpiece Monday we looked at a character with a sexy voice (even though we never actually hear her say a word). This week I’d like to show off a great example of something that I find difficult to pull off well: writing action scenes.

Writing an action scene is tough. You have to keep tension high and fast-paced, but at the same time you need to provide enough details so your reader can follow what’s going on. But if you provide too many details, it just falls flat. It’s the writing equivalent of walking a tightrope… on a unicycle… taped to each foot.

One book that does action scenes very well is (unsurprisingly!) Harry Potter. Let’s take a look at one particularly great passage. It’s during Harry’s first broomstick-flying lesson, when Malfoy steals Neville’s Rememberall and is taunts Harry up in the air with it. Suddenly he throws it as far as he can, and we get this scene:

“Harry saw, as though in slow motion, the ball rise up in the air and then start to fall. He leaned forward and pointed his broom handle down – next second he was gathering speed in a steep dive, racing the ball – wind whistled in his ears, mingled with the screams of people watching – he stretched out his hand – a foot from the ground her caught hit, just in time to pull his broom straight, and he toppled gently onto the grass with the Rememberall clutched safely in his fist.”

This passage has a couple of great things going for it. First, it’s only two sentences long. The first sentence sets up Harry’s broomstick dive, and the second one carries us from his initial descent down to the very end.

Even though it’s a long sentence, it doesn’t feel long. The dashes break it up into easily readable pieces, and the lack of any full-stop periods makes us not slow down until the very end – just like Harry.

PROHARRYTIP #1: To keep the pace up in an action scene,
try subtracting the number of sentences.

Of course not every action scene can be just one long sentence; readers would get tired of it pretty quickly. However this passage does one other thing very well: verb usage.

Just a few excess words here and there can add up, quickly turning an intense scene into a molasses-y mess. But I love the snappy one-word verbs used in the above passage: pointed his broom handle, racing the ball, wind whistled, toppled gently, clutched safely, and more.

Imagine if the beginning were written like this instead:

“Harry saw, as though in slow motion, the ball rise up in the air and then start to fall. He shifted his body weight forward abruptly and gripped the point of his broom tightly to steer it downward – next second he was building up lots of increasing speed in a steep dive, at first following right behind the ball but then getting closer and closer until finally he was next to it….”

Yikes, that’s almost twice as long as the original. It’s more words, but it’s not any clearer for having used them. Condensing the long phrases into single verbs make for much faster reading, bringing us readers into the fast-moving scene more easily and effectively.

PROHARRYTIP #2: To keep the pace up in an action scene,
try subtracting long phrases/adverbs and replacing with single verbs.

Writing good action is tough. I know I struggle with it, but hopefully by looking at some good examples we can all try to imagine what doing exciting things must be like!

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Tips-y Tuesday: How to Schedule a Hot Date (With Writing!)

Last week on Tips-y Tuesday we looked at how it can take a while to find “The One” when you’re trying to publish, but you’re not alone in that struggle, and getting there eventually is worth it.

This week I’d like to talk about one of the few things I’m actually decent at when it comes to writing: consistency.

I may not be so great when it comes to painting vivid scenes and bringing characters to life and even just putting words together nicely on a page. But as far as setting aside time to write every day and actually sticking to it, I’m practically Einstein.

Well, most of the time anyway.


The way I go about doing it is by using a schedule book. Every day I write down what I have to do, and I’m not allowed to go to bed until I cross off everything. Of course, “write one page” is written in there too, so if I want to lay down on that sweet soft pillow, my fingers need to get typing.

It follows the same kind of pattern as exercise. The first few times it hurts… a lot. But after the first week, then month, of writing every day, it gets easier and easier until it becomes a habit. Then, something magical happens: you suddenly want to write every day. If you don’t write, you feel bad, just as if you’d missed a favorite TV show, and you rush to finish it before bed.

Of course that sounds great, but it’s a lot of work to get to that point. One thing that helps make it easier is by having an end goal in mind.

What I like to do whenever I start a new novel is plan out how long it will take me. If a 70,000 to 80,000 word novel written in MS Word is around 100 pages, then the initial schedule can look something like this:

A pace of one page per day, six days per week
(one day to rest) results in 100 pages finished in four months!


(Yes I know the last day has 4 pages instead of 1, but hey, most months aren’t 28 days long either, so you don’t have to do that final four page sprint on the last day – you’ll make them up in the 30 and 31 day long months.)

Being able to visualize an end helps make it easier to get started. Personally I find it easier to begin a race when I know where the finish line is rather than running around aimlessly, and the same goes for writing.

So just think – if you started writing one page per day starting today, then you would have that novel you’ve always dreamed of finishing actually done by February. It wouldn’t be ready to ship off to agents by then, but you’d be in a great position to start editing and harassing friends and family for feedback.

And you know what else is in February? Valentine’s Day. What better way to find a significant other (or seduce your current one) than by offering them your recently completed, hot-off-the-word-processor manuscript? Ooh, makes me all tingly just thinking about it!

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)
(Insert image via Wikipedia, edited by me)

Masterpiece Monday: A Sexy Voice

Last week on Masterpiece Monday we saw sound effects making a splash in some scenes. This week I’d like to show off a great example of something that I struggle with: voice.

Giving your writing its own distinct personality is tough. It’s not something you can easily fix or add in like grammar rules or putting in more details. In order to get a good, sexy voice, every sentence – every word – has to feel like it’s coming from an actual human being with a unique personality. The second one syllable feels forced or out of place, it all comes crumbling down.

I recently read John Green’s young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t know why or how I’ve managed to go this long without reading it, but thankfully I managed to fix that. I was blown away by the narrator’s voice starting on the very first page.

Here’s a sample from page one where the narrator (Hazel) describes her discussion session at a local church with other kids fighting cancer:

So here’s how it went in God’s heart: The six or seven or ten of us walked/wheeled in, grazed at a decrepit selection of cookies and lemonade, sat down in the Circle of Trust, and listened to Patrick recount for the thousandth time his depressingly miserable life story—how he had cancer in his balls and they thought he was going to die but he didn’t die and now here he is, a full-grown adult in a church basement in the 137th nicest city in America, divorced, addicted to video games, mostly friendless, eking out a meager living by exploiting his cancertastic past, slowly working his way toward a master’s degree that will not improve his career prospects, waiting, as we all do, for the sword of Damocles to give him the relief that he escaped lo those many years ago when cancer took both of his nuts but spared what only the most generous soul would call his life.


Now that’s one hell of a voice! You immediately get a sense of exactly what kind of person Hazel is just by her description of a church meeting. Cynical, sarcastic, brutally honest, but not in a pretentious way – it all feels very natural.

One of the ways that Hazel’s voice is so strong is through her word usage. She doesn’t let herself be limited to the mere vocabulary of any dictionary. She uses multiple words at once (“walked/wheeled”), odd-sounding words for emphasis (“lo those many years ago”), and even makes up words when necessary (“cancertastic”).

But you can’t just have one fantastic paragraph and hope that carries the voice for the rest of the story. Hazel’s voice is just as clear for the rest of the book.

Here’s just three examples I particularly liked:

(1) I woke up and soon got into one of those experimental trials that are famous in the Republic of Cancervania for Not Working.

(2) I liked that he was a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin.

(3) “It must be some book,” she said as she knelt down next to the bed and unscrewed me from my large, rectangular oxygen concentrator, which I called Philip, because it just kind of looked like a Philip.

From the very first word to the last, author John Green does an amazing job of bringing Hazel to life as a distinct human being. Never once as a reader did I think “This sounds like a thirty-something man wearing the mask of a sixteen-year-old girl.”

That’s something I know I have trouble with when writing; my characters often feel like they’re just Scott Wilsons wearing masks instead of their own unique beings. Hopefully by learning from great authors like John Green we can all try to turn our novels from awkward mask-wearing parties into just actual parties instead.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Tips-y Tuesday: Finding “The One”

Last week on Tips-y Tuesday we saw how the Hammer of Detail can crack open scenes like eggs and let flow the juicy rainbows hidden within.

This week I’d like to take a break from talking about writing (with a lowercase w) and look at Writing (uppercase!) instead

The difference? Writing (uppercase!) is everything concerning writing that doesn’t involve words on the page. It’s scheduling time to write, getting in the zone, minimizing distractions, overcoming rejection, etc etc. It’s just as important as writing (lowercase!), since you could have the greatest story idea ever, but if it never actually gets written and published, it’s the same as if you never wrote it.

To start off on the topic of Writing, I’d like to take another look at yesterday’s Monday Masterpiece. It was taken from Beth Revis’s novel Across the Universe, and I was inspired to read it after seeing her video about overcoming rejection on Operation Awesome.

If you haven’t seen her video yet, watch it here. It’s well worth the seven minutes.

As someone who has completed five full novels, and has several incomplete ones, without so much as ever getting a partial request from a literary agent, Beth’s video spoke to me on a personal level.

You always hear about how Stephen King or J.K. Rowling was rejected dozens of times before they were finally published, but here’s the difference: their first novels were good. My first novels (and Beth’s too), were not good. You never really hear about the graveyard of books that accumulates between starting out as a writer and then finally making it.

You always think that every novel you finish and send out to agents is going to be The One, but that’s not usually the case. Like Beth said in her video, she wrote 10 novels before finally getting Across the Universe published, and she thought each of those 10 was going to be The One too. But that wasn’t their purpose – their purpose was to act as steps on a ladder toward something better.

It’s a ladder made of manuscripts, leading up to The  One. The only catch:
you can’t know how many rungs it has until you’ve already climbed to the top.


I feel the same Beth does. I thought each of the five novels I wrote previously was going to be The One at the time. But now, looking back, I can see their flaws. I’ve learned something important from each of them, making my subsequent stories better. I’m hoping that the current novel I’m writing will be The One, but if it isn’t, then I’ll learn from it and move on as well.

That’s what today’s Tips-y Tuesday is all about: learning from past loves. Just because you sent out the novel you pured your heart and soul into to 100 agents and didn’t even get a  reply, that doesn’t mean you failed. You only fail if you give up. Instead figure out what you did wrong – show the books to friends, family, writing groups – then learn from it and try again. Repeat for several years until successful. Serving size: one.

So if you’re like me and are amazing at coming up with ideas but cursed with mediocre writing skill, don’t give up. Keep on plugging away, and like Beth showed us, it may take several years, but the only way you won’t eventually make it is if you give up.

Or if the Earth explodes. But hey, that could make a good story.

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)

Masterpiece Monday: A Drop in the Universe

Last week on Masterpiece Monday we looked at how Harry Potter is so good that it outright tells us. This week I’d like to change gears from sentences and scenes and look at the effect that a single word can have – specifically the “sound” it can have.

One thing I miss about Japanese when I’m writing in English is the lack of sound effects. For those unaware, Japanese is ripe with onomatopoeia words like sara sara for the rustling of leaves, or gotan goton for the sound of trains on tracks. There’s oven sound effect words for things we’d never imagine having sound effects, like bata bata for the sound of being busy or ira ira for the sound of being frustrated.

Using just the right onomatopoeia word in Japanese feels similar to finding just that right verb in English. Like when you write “he clambered into the car” instead of the generic “he got into the car.”

So when an author uses onomatopoeia in English, I immediately take notice.

I was inspired to read Beth Revis’s YA science-fiction novel Across the Universe after watching her video about failure that was featured on Operation Awesome. Right at the very beginning chapter, I was hit with a line that “sounded” amazing

“Daddy and I stepped back, but not so far that Mom would think we’d left her in that icy coffin alone. Ed pulled Mom’s eyes open. His fingers were big, calloused, and they looked like rough-hewn logs spreading apart my mom’s paper-thin eyelids. A drop of yellow liquid fell on each green eye. Ed did it quickly—drop, drop—then he sort of pushed her eyes shut. She didn’t open them again.”

I don’t know about you, but when I read that “drop, drop” part, I couldn’t help but smile with delight. Using the sound effect is much more effective here than just writing something instead like “Ed quickly dropped them in.”

Not only does the sound effect give us a sense of just how quickly he did it – drop, drop and then it’s over! – but it brings us as close to the scene as possible. When we can hear the physical sound the drop makes, it’s like we’re actually there with the narrator, watching – and hearing! – it happen.

Using sound effects in English can often come across as childish, and even when used well it can read awkwardly if it’s overdone. But when used sparingly and in key places like the above, it can make writing come alive far more than any verb or adjective ever could.

As always, thanks for reading. Join us next week on Masterpiece Monday when we take a look at a character with a sexy voice. See you then!

(Featured image via GAHAG, edited by me)