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??
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.
****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.
Start of the End
These are not easy times to call yourself a gunslinger. But I continue to walk the once, well traveled path of my ancestors. Many years ago, I held my head high when I passed the fork in the road. I squint my eyes as I watch the silver sun slowly set in the distance. I smile. The end of the beginning is almost over. I walk forward.
Usually I do not dissect my own works for the reader to read, but I’ve decided to do so for this (idk why).
First sentence- Gunslinger (much like the one in the dark tower series) represents the older, now dying line of those who follow a now forgotten code of morality, spirituality, etc. In addition, besides being forgotten it’s not easy b/c the gunslinger is tempted several times to give in and change his/her name, hence the use of “call”.
Second sentence-Despite the hardships, despite the pressures the gunslinger continues with the life he/she knows, while recollecting memories of this on the way.
Sentence three- the gunslinger dips into his/her past and tells us a story about being tempted to divert paths. The gunslinger declines, and afterwords is proud of the his/her actions.
Sentence four and five- The silver sun setting represents the “mechanical world” not just in terms of technology but in terms of the spirit of the people who have given up the old ways for the new ways. The gunslinger squint his/her eyes because it painful to see what the world has become. The gunslinger smiles, b/c hope is felt as a result of the sun setting, which represents the new way fading, but slowly. (we are not clear as the reader if this is false or real hope)
Sentence five- The stories ends with the gunslinger’s new motivation and motto being told to the reader. He/she now sets out to continue and finish the mission with new found hope.
I am having an issue with when I click on the reader tab of my page with it constantly reloading every second. This makes it near impossible for me to scroll the page.
It appears that it is checking for new post, but its doing it every second as opposed to in the past when it only checked for new post sparingly. Has anyone had this issue or know a way I can solve it? Seems like this problem started about 2 weeks ago. Thanks for all help JMD
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.