Keeping the distance

Scott Nicholson says in Write Good or Die:

Newer writers tend to rely on “He saw,” “He felt,” “He smelled,” “He tasted,” or “He heard” instead of just letting the actions or sensations occur. It shows a lack of confidence. If you have done a good job of securing your character viewpoint, then when that stack of dishes clatters to the ground, the reader knows who hears the smash.

So of course I looked through my novel’s current draft and it didn’t take long to see how I had violated this advice.

Before

Quinn and Esh walked along the beach for several minutes, following the bend and curve of the beach. In the distance, Quinn could see various buildings, most of them dark red and orange, sprinkled with dots of light as the evening approached. Quinn stopped in his tracks. He could see movement around the dwellings.

“Aliens.”

After

Quinn and Esh walked along the beach for several minutes, following the bend and curve of the beach. In the distance, buildings, most of them dark red and orange, sat in a cove and formed a town. Dots of lights sprinkled them as evening approached. Quinn stopped in his tracks. Dark figures moved around the dwellings like ants on their hill.

“Aliens.”

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Author: mazeface

Two things I love to do the most include graphic design and writing. I was an editor at a publishing company for several years; I saw the graphic designers at work and thought, 'I'd like to do that.' So I went to art school. I love to read, write and draw. Yes, I am a creative nerd type. I like to read all kinds of books, but science fiction and fantasy is my guilty pleasure. Why am I keeping this blog? It's just a place to keep my thoughts. My brain is getting too full to store them all, so this place is a good annex.

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