EVERNEATH got an awesome review over at the fiction fairy.
But don't worry. I haven't let it go to my head. Because right after I read that review, I went through a first draft of my sequel, and that was enough to squash my ego, and make me think, "Ohmyheck, I'm too stupid to live."
One of the worst things about writing/reading through a first draft is the gigantic amount of "telling, not showing" instead of "showing, not telling".
Bree Despain and I were at our weekly writing session, and we were talking about the biggest culprits in our first drafts.
1. My personal favorite is the "Able to tell in a person's face what he or she is thinking".
Now, sometimes it's okay to say "I could tell from his expression that he had no idea what I was talking about."
But other times, the offense is egregious.
An example of this is:
"He gave me a look that said later tonight, when you're alone, I'm totally gonna sneak in your room and scare you."
"The way he salted his eggs told me he was thinking about that one time, at band camp, when it was more than our flutes making music..."
2. Next, we have the "Inappropriate Metaphors or Similes to Explain a Point"
It's maybe okay to say:
"The air became hot, as if I was suddenly covered in a warm blanket."
But first drafts sometimes read like:
"The cool air washed over me like a donkey in heat, high on huffing glue."
It's okay to be unique, and not use cliches, but sometimes these can feel like a stretch.
3. Finally, we have the "There are only so many ways to describe a smile."
My characters smile. A lot. Despite all the destruction raining down on them, they smile. Despite the fact that many lives are on the line, they smile.
Sometimes, both ends of their mouth pull up.
Sometimes they grin, widely.
Sometimes one corner of their mouth quirks up.
Sometimes they half-smile.
Sometimes they "smile a smile that doesn't reach their eyes".
Sometimes their mouths resemble a "half-moon, on its side".
Sometimes their lips quiver, on their way to a half smile, but then the sadness in their eyes extinguishes all evidence of said smile.
My point is, it's okay for these things to exist. In a first draft. Use them to get to the end of your Work-In-Progress. That's what revising is for! What are some of your biggest culprits? Have you read any books lately that are guilty of these?