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??
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.
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Allegedly, Ernest Hemingway wrote a six world short story, which he called his greatest work. I am not sure if this has be proven,as it seems to be more of a myth. Regardless, here is the story.
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
I have read a lot about how great a story this is. Really? To me this is neither a story nor that great. I don’t suggest its not a story because of its length but rather its lack of the essential parts that make up any story. Putting the story aspect aside, what makes this so great? I hear its about the pain of miscarriage, etc. How do we come to that conclusion? In my eyes, its talking about a pair of baby shoes that were gave as a gift to a baby and were never used because they were to small.
Some one might say that is the beauty of the story, there could be so many different themes behind those six words. Which makes my point that is not a story, but rather an open end set of words. For example let me try, Rain fell at the bus stop. There could be many suggestions about this story. For instance, this story is so deep because it is about a man deep in despair, still trying to be successful in life as he waits on the bus to go to his dead end job. Or, a little kid waits at the bus stop for his parents that will never come because they have been just killed in an accident. The possibilities go on and on. Story and great? Nah.
The following is a real short short short story.
We live in hard times, where doing the right thing is frowned upon. Hope is all that remains in this place. I cannot find hope.