2014 has been a huge learning year for me. I finally understand the concept of active writing.
What brought it into focus was reading the entire Hunger Games Trilogy during the month of February. I couldn’t put the books down, which is highly unusual for me. It’s common for me to take months to read a single book–even if I’m enjoying it–a fault I’m trying to improve.
Anywho, back to the subject here, I believe the main reason I couldn’t get enough Hunger Games was because almost every chapter ended on either a cliffhanger or in the midst of action. I also felt as though the books contained little downtime, which is usually where I begin to slack off. It always moved forward and I felt as though the characters had purpose the whole time.
Also, since it was written in first person, there was little to no “passiveness” about the sentence structure. You know what I mean. It’s the difference between writing: I was walking when I saw a bird, and writing: I saw a bird in the park.
Man, this realization flipped me for a loop, because I read through my current ms–a sci-fi diddy–and realized that not only was there massive passivity going on, but that my chapters rounded off nicely almost every time. There was nothing to provoke the reader to move ahead, at least not with the hunger in which I pursued the Hunger Games.
This resulted in a massive overhaul of my ms and the deletion of 5,000 words.
If anyone has experienced a similar “ah-ha” moment in their writing, please comment below!