I must admit, I’m guilty of adding the words “beginning to” or “starting to” in my works. I don’t think I knew or realized the impact until reading this post. Thanks Alicia!
Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip:
Phrases like ‘began to’ and ‘started to’ show up in manuscripts more frequently than you might expect. When you really think about it, though, they do not quite work for what you’re trying to convey. Plus, they are weak and inactive. Examples:
He started running.
He began coughing.
He placed his hand on the door and began to open it.
Her legs started to tremble.
Her heart began to race.
She started to laugh.
When I see wording like this, I have to ask myself, these questions, and I’ll admit, some strange images appear in my mind.
Did he start running but only take a few steps and pause mid-air? Did he hack out half a cough? How do you ‘begin to open’ a door? Did he turn the knob or pull on the door but not really open it? Did her legs give a few…
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