Tag Archives: Toilet seat

Rule #9 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever


I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #9

9: Describe the environment in ways that are pertinent to the story. And try to make such descriptions active. Instead of describing a book lying on a table, have your psycho-killer protagonist pick it up, glance at it and move it to the arm of the sofa. He needs something to do to break up those long speeches, right?

This is one of my favorite simple rules.  One thing that bores me is when I read “Jessica walked into the bathroom.  The white toilet sat to her right.  The counter loomed before her, and a window let in the sunshine from the left.

“Ugh!  I just hate that.  However, she can walk over and close the window, check her acne in the mirror, and dust some cobwebs from behind the toilet, and then you have your setting dispersed in the action.  Get it?

Are you a “setting dumper?”  Go ahead, it’s okay to admit to it.  Now let’s grab one of those overly-described settings and make it active.  Let’s see how you do!

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F