By Louise Harnby
If your characters’ intention to act is trumping their action, a small recast could be in order. This article shows you how ‘to’ can affect immediacy and plausibility in certain circumstances.
The intention to act
Take a look at these sentences:
What’s noticeable in these examples is that the character does X in order to achieve Y. Let’s be clear – there’s nothing wrong with any of the sentences in terms of either grammar or syntax. A proofreader wouldn’t touch them. A line editor, however, would take a closer look.
In all three cases the narrator is describing the intention to act, rather than the act itself. And that can be problematic for a couple of reasons.