Friday, March 29, 2013

Editing woes. Walked vs STARTED Walking

Every editor is different!

I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with three different editors so far for my releases. Each had their own style and I truly feel blessed that I have seen how very special and unique each editor's vision for my writing style shapes the story that I have written them.


I am having an issue. Often in my writing, I am being "hit" on the use of the word "started" in front of a blurb. One of my editors told me that it was a useless word and I should cut them all. If a character has "started" an action, then they are doing it, so just say they are doing it.


Jimmy turned and started walking to the refrigerator.  (My rough sentence.)
Jimmy turned and walked to the refrigerator. (What is preferred.)

Unfortunately, I see these as to very different sentences. I could be the only one, but lets see what you think. In my sentence, (present tense) Jimmy has just turned and is just taking his first two steps to the refrigerator. In the second sentence, Jimmy has turned and walked (past tense) to the fridge. This means that his journey is complete. He made it to the fridge. I see this as a distance issue.

If Jimmy is still walking to the fridge,  something could happen in between. (His girlfriend swings him around by the arm to face her.) If Jimmy has made it to the fridge, then there is distance between them unless the girlfriend is following.

I don't know. Maybe its just me. But we "START" actions all the time. Some of us never do finish them. Because in any action, "TIME" is involved. There is a beginning and end to everything.

So what do you think? Is there a difference in the two? Should EVERY "started" be cut from a manuscript?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

See you soon,


  1. I have to agree with your editor here. I hate the word started. But I disagree that taking it out means the same thing. Instead, I would say Jimmy turned and took two steps toward the refrigerator. This still shows the action of beginning the journey to the fridge, but allows for an interruption before he actually gets there.

    1. Thanks Sarah for commenting today. I like the idea of changing the wording, will probably have to try some of that in my manuscript now.

      I think my biggest issue was "absolutes". There are always exceptions to the rules. Though we may not want to admit it. The exceptions are what end up becoming the biggest hits.

      Thanks again for commenting!