Revision sample: Down with WAS, Up with ACTION!

nowasI have been working to eliminate WAS from my manuscript.  Here is a sample of a paragraph before and after:

Before:

A moment later another furry stepped out from behind a tree nearby.  The new comer was female and not quite as tall as the male, but nearly the same color of gray.  Roe found herself unable to react.

After:

A moment later a female furry, not quite as tall as the male but sporting the same grey fur, stepped out from behind a tree nearby.  Roe found herself unable to react.

It is a small change but it adds up when you make 1200 edits across a manuscript to stop it from being such a passive read it adds more action.

Another example:  (WERE is a form of he word WAS)

Before:

Just then a shape lunged out of the grass next to her.  Then two more followed.  They were small and flew right past her face.  It was so sudden that Tusa’An launched herself backwards in reaction.  She was rewarded with pain across her entire body radiating out from her chest.  Even through the pain though, she was relieved.  It was only birds.

After:

Just then a small shape came up out of the grass next to her and flew right past her face.  Two more of these followed.  The shock of it caused Tusa’An to launch herself backwards to which her body rewarded her with a blast of pain across her chest that radiated out through her whole body.  She then realized that birds had just caused her start.  She felt both silly and relieved.

I started with 1400 instances of WAS.  As of this writing I am now down to 570

 

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