• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Back to Troll Mountain

Welcome my friends, once again we are not at home.  No sooner did Mischievous and I arrive back at our beloved Swamp, when we find ourselves off again with most of the dwarves in tow.  It appears that while Mischievous and I were running for our lives the rest of the crew decided they wanted a little adventure too.  So, Snarky, Wicked, Smokey, Quirky, and all of our muses are headed out to commune with the writing Gods.  We are going to seek out those sneaky adverbs and adjectives where they hide and eradicate them.  Smash sentence fragments and put those commas in their place.  Envious aren’t you.  Maybe you didn’t know that writing could be so much fun.  So as I look out over the troll ravaged mountain the  I can see the trolls pacing around below us.  The muses already told them, if they want to see a real can of whoop ass, just come on by.  Thus far they’ve elected to leaves us to write in peace.

This weeks topic is about excess words.  Here are some pearls that are loosely tossed about in writing circles.  “Write Tight,” William Brohaugh; “Omit needless words, and Vigorous writing is concise,” Strunk and White;  “Superfluous words and phrases soften prose,” Sol Stein.

All of these phases have been lifted from chapters dealing with adverbs and adjectives.  “Adjectives and adverbs often weaken their subjects,” Noel Lukeman.  Of course killing off every modifier in your prose is not the answer to tight, concise, sharp, focused writing either. As in the example set in the last sentence, more is less.  Here I need to select the strongest and most appropriate adverb.  One is sufficient.  Concise seems to be the easy winner here as it describes the style desired.  By the same measure eliminating all the adverbs ruins the meaning of the sentence.  So the lesson here is some modifiers are good, too many are bad.  The decision is solely the authors as to which ones to keep.  Mr. Lukeman suggests that we start with a single page and remove all of the adverbs, and read it through once.  How does that flow?  Will a stronger verb do a better job than adding an adverb to bolster it.  He then suggests, where we are sure we still need an adverb we use one that is unique and stay away from the over used or clichéd adverbs.  Such as sparkling eyes.  If the eyes in question sparkle or not is not at issue.  What is at issue here is that the phrase has been over used and like dialogue tags it will get skipped over while your reader registers a moment of boredom.

If your work is fraught with similar phrases your reader may decide they’ve read this before and set it down.  The job of a writer is to tell a tale with unique characters and a fresh turn of phrase.  Every sentence is not going to contain these pearls, but neither should all your sentences contain recycled phrases.  In order to give your characters a distinct voice they will need some dialogue quirks, that’s what  I to call them.  Phases that are uniquely theirs so that the reader doesn’t need a tag to know who’s speaking.

So this is my goal for the coming weekend of writing in the mountains.  It is what all wordsmiths aim for.  And so as miscellaneous body parts drift down the river in front of our cabin from the last zombie attack.  I throw myself on the mercy of the writing gods in hopes they will show me favor.  I leave you with these words from a writer known for his concise style.

“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can.  Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”  Ernest Hemingway

Write On,

Eerie


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