Archive for the ‘critique’ Tag

Rules of Writing #5

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

5

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??

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Rules of Writing #57

Friday, January 4th, 2013

rules icon

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.

 

Short Short Short Short Story

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.

JMD

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