#MadAboutDetails is a collection of quickie writing tips inspired by my review read of Ilona Andrews’s White Hot. No one is truly mad, except the book’s hero—Mad Rogan—so read on for your daily dose of writing insight!

Sentence structure is your time keeper.

From White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Copyright © 2017 Ilona Andrews

Rogan jerked the animal mage off his feet, slamming him against the elevator wall, his forearm pressed against the blond man’s throat.

Consider an alternate phrasing:

Rogan jerked the animal mage off his feet. He slammed him against the elevator wall and pressed his forearm against the blond man’s throat.

Or even…

Rogan jerked the animal mage off his feet. He slammed him against the elevator wall. Then he pressed his forearm against the blond man’s throat.

The fun factor

Which has the most urgency? Which feels like it speeds by in a heartbeat?

The original phrasing infuses a sense of momentum and urgency, driven by the verbs highlighted in bold. Hero Mad Rogan’s actions span a mental filmstrip of less than a second and imply a burst of speed where all the moments blur together into one badass motion.

The second two phrasings, while also technically—grammatically—correct, slow down the scene and detract from Rogan’s quick action. These read more like a how-to manual on personal assault than an effective action scene that introduces the hero of the story.

BONUS! There are two other posts with tips from this same book! Click the #MadAboutDetails tag below to check them out!

Show & Tell

Do you have any examples of your work where a sentence re-structuring boosted the the way a passage reads, its momentum?

Leave a comment* below and join the discussion!

*Limit 150 words. If you’ve played this game before (on a different post), choose something unique to share.


See my review at: Goodreads | Amazon| GraveTells

It’s About Time #MadAboutDetailsWhite Hot by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Published by HarperCollins on May 30, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
Buy or reserve your copy online at*: Amazon (Kindle)

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot
 
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
 
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …
 
An Avon Romance

*This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.