Is Your Subject Your Subject? (Two Meanings!)

Psst… you can read the new vocabulary-boosting short story I mention in the podcast here!


As we wrap up our writing mini-series, I have just a few more pieces of word-altering advice to give you!

Today’s advice has two meanings, and it’s: is your subject your subject?

Big Picture

Are you telling the story from the right point of view?

In drafting book #2, I realized my predetermined subject was no longer the only person with a gripping story to tell, and decided to have two narrators instead of the one I’d imagined.

It’s worth examining your story from a few perspectives before diving in!

Line-by-Line

This seems so obvious when you point it out, but I had no idea how often I made this mistake until learning this bit of advice from Rick Riordan!

Whenever possible, try to make the subject of your sentence what you want your reader to focus on. Not only that, but try to make that word as strong as possible!

For instance, he notes that “It was a beautiful day” encourages readers to think about a vague “it”. Alternatively, “The sky was a brilliant blue” encourages people to think about the sky.

A simple fix, but impactful!

In the podcast, I talk about a story of my own where I made this swap, and was practically thunderstruck by how much better the sentence became.

Listen to the entire episode at the top of this post, or on your favorite player!