Thursday, December 12, 2013
The craft of rewriting-Revision-Self Editing-Cause before Effect
By OFW chief editor:
Carlos J Cortes And Renée Miller
Published: April 22, 2013
Sometimes we unintentionally put an effect before the cause, or a reaction before an action. This is easily found if we search for words like “when,” “as,” “before,” “during,” “while,” “until,” “after,” and “since.” These words often signal that we’ve made a syntactical error and put the sequence of events in the wrong order. When we find these, flip the phrases so that the events happen as they should and the continuity is improved.
Wrong: Cheryl froze when the doorbell rang.
Right: The doorbell rang. Cheryl froze.
Wrong: The dog barked as the mailman walked up the step.
Right: The mailman approached the step and the dog barked.
Wrong: Bob answered the ringing phone.
Right: The phone rang. Bob answered.
These are small slips, but they’re a big deal when the reader notices them, and she will.
Renee Miller & Carlos Cortes
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