You’re a writer. You just read your manuscript and discovered your characters nodding like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they’re rolling their eyes.
Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real live people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann will provide the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions.
Too many repetitions of “little”? There’s a cure for that. Do you rely on “very” too often? There’s a cure for that too. You’ll find the remedies in this book’s dispensary.
Should you ever use anything other than “said” to attribute dialogue? Are exclamation points taboo? The answers might surprise you.
Learn how to harness body language, cut hackneyed adjectives, and draw on the environment for ambience. No more wooden characters. You’ll transform them into believable personalities your readers will learn to love. Or hate.
Get in the driver’s seat, relax, and enjoy your journey—with Kathy Steinemann’s book as your GPS.
I’ll be honest — I’d never heard of Kathy Steinemann until a few months ago. She found my website online and thought I might appreciate her book, The Writer’s Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words and Taboos, as a resource for my writing. She offered me a copy. I said I’d be happy to read it and review it, then I forgot completely about it.
During that time, I edited a manuscript in which the characters turned an average of 1.5 times per page. In the next manuscript, everyone shrugged (men, women, children). Then I found Steinemann’s book, and I wish I had had it earlier to offer suggestions to my clients!
I will admit that there were a few things in the book that Steinemann and I don’t absolutely agree on (that’s just how it is in publishing) and there were a couple of times when I thought she could have elaborated a bit more, but I honestly don’t think those things matter quite as much as her lists.
I’ve seen lots of lists on line where English teachers and other well-educated, well-meaning people list all kinds of adverbs that authors “should” use to add variety to their stories. But here’s the deal: publishers want authors to use adverbs sparingly, so using those lists can actually cause more problems than it will fix.
Steinemann, however, has years of experience in the publishing industry, so she knows what works and what doesn’t. As I read through her lists, I found myself nodding and agreeing with her suggestions. As an editor, I have seen all of those common words used over and over again in manuscripts. I don’t say this lightly when I tell you that I could (and would) confidently recommend her book as a resource for new writers looking for ways to expand their descriptive word banks.
I can see this being a useful tool, not just as a writer, but as an editor as well. I’m glad to have it in my resource library and am happy to share it with others.