Saturday, January 5th, 2013
Rules of Writing #5- The use of the word “and” should be monitored and deleted when or if possible. This becomes an issue when you start to notice not a few, but several of your sentences containing the word “and”. Fortunately this is a simple fix most of the time.
For example, “I arrived at the store at a quarter past nine to meet Sarah, and bought some eggs while I waited.” There is too much going on in this sentence. Easy solution though, delete the word “and”, and add “I”. “I arrived at the store at a quarter past nine. I bought some eggs while I waited.”
Remember simple, short sentences often give your reader the best tools to paint the vivid picture you are trying to describe to them.
This seems like such a trivial issue, but trust me from a reader’s point of view it is a big issue. You don’t want to swamp your reader with a bunch of huge sentences connected by the word “and”. While proof reading your work, ask yourself is this “and” really needed each time you come across one. If not, delete and create two sentences. Wait, did I use “and” in that last sentence? Was it correct usage or should I have deleted it??
Friday, January 4th, 2013
Rules of Writing #57- Avoid over using adverbs and adjectives. This is a common issue that plagues beginner and seasoned writers the same. When re-reading your work, check for common mistakes, but be careful to notice over use of adverbs and adjectives.
For example, “I quickly ran to go see why Sarah was crying.” What is wrong with this sentence? It is not needed to say “quickly”, ran already implies quickly. Another example, “Sarah and I took a seat on the hood of her car. We gazed at the blue sky for what seemed like hours.” What is the issue here? Do we really need to say “blue” to describe the sky? Unless blue has a central theme to the story and plays a key part in that sentence, or rather the sky changing colors is a part of your story, you don’t need to place “blue” there. We all know the sky is blue. Save your adverbs and adjectives for really important parts that need detailed painting not for common every day subject matter.
Above were two minor examples. Make sure next time when you are proof reading your work to be watchful for the adverb and adjective over use. A lot of times simple and short sentences paint the best, vivid pictures for your readers. If a sentences seems convoluted and wordy, its probably because you have to many adverbs and adjectives. Take them out and now read how smoothly that sentence flows.
Monday, December 31st, 2012
****Warning the following may contain spoilers if you have not read the complete Dark Tower series by Stephen King*****
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
Above is the first line from The Gunslinger book one of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This opening line is often heralded as one of the best sentences Stephen King has ever written. Upon first reading the sentence, I knew it was great, but didn’t realize why until I finished the whole series and started to compose short short short stories of my own.
That one single sentence, told the complete story of the eight book series. And to be expected most readers will not understand this until they finish the series. Lets break it down and see why it’s so great.
The man in black– this part represents not only a person who is a central antagonist throughout the works, but it also describes the greater antagonist the world in which Roland lives, black. These four words describe the struggle and hardships very well.
fled across the desert- even though the man in black(world) is the enemy has taken steps toward darkening the world further, the darkness is now fleeing as a result of the actions of Roland and his friends. The desert symbolizes how desperate the enemy now is, to even cross the desert in order to lose the gunslinger.
, and the gunslinger followed- Roland, a gunslinger continues on his duty to follow the man in black (both literally and figuratively), in order to search the evil out and put an end to it. Notice the sentence ends with “followed” not a word or words describing a victory by Roland. Once you read the last book this makes perfect sense. The sentence is meant to seem repetitive in nature because as we learn in fact Roland is having to repeat this sentence over and over.
For once, I agree with the critiques and reviews. This is one of the best sentences, I have ever read.
Saturday, December 1st, 2012
So I am looking for a new book or series to read, starting today. I am open to any and all suggestions. I finished the dark tower series last night with all 8 books read.
For the most part, there isn’t a style or genre of book that I don’t enjoy, but I would say I don’t care much for romantic novels especially the ones with Fabio on the front cover.
If you have any suggestions please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.