My followers, few but all cool cats, will enjoy this. (Geez … no concoction my human puts in MY bowl ever gives me such an experience…)
on Writing Forward:
There are many writing tips that tell us what to avoid in our work: We should keep adverbs to a minimum. Don’t use verbiage, which is excessive and unnecessary language. Watch out for info dumps. And avoid clichés.
But why should we avoid clichés? What’s a cliché, anyway, and how do we identify them in our writing? What if a cliché is the best way to express something?
Let’s explore these questions and determine whether it’s really necessary to avoid clichés.
Today’s guest post is excerpted from How to Work With a Writer by editor Allegra Huston
Many people who find themselves in an editorial role make the same mistake. They think they’re supposed to fix the book. They’ve identified the problems and they expend a lot of mental energy on coming up with solutions.
The classic version of this is the film development executive who tells you to put in a car chase (yes, it’s happened to me).
The story is sagging, the pace is dragging: you need some excitement! In this case, the car chase solution is like a sugar hit: a rush followed by dissatisfaction.
Far better to address the underlying story issues—but it’s hard to do that if a car chase, or some other plastered-on idea, is occupying the center of the discussion.
Not sure if I ever reblogged this one before, but even if so, well worth another share!
They are always with me. At times they appear out of the ethereal mist, and other times they speak directly to my mind. I wish they would leave me to myself … but that they will not do. No, first I must do their bidding.
They come in the night and stay until the black sky fades to gray. When the stars have left the sky and the clouds to the east turn pink, I am allowed my rest. But I ask you, what respite can a murderer have? At their behest, I have killed again this night. And I will continue to kill until they go back from whence they came.
I remember the first time they came to me. It was a little over a year ago, and since then I have killed twenty-nine people. Please do not think me insane. I assure you these beings are real…
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This lesson is invaluable, so read carefully.
Wait, does invaluable mean no value or lots of value? Quick internet search… Okay.
Yeah, there’s gold in today’s lesson.
BODY LANGUAGE = GOOD
CRUTCH WORDS = BAD
Also, a way to find and deal with your crutch words. Didn’t know you had those? You do.
Tag, your manuscript is it!
First, let’s discuss dialogue tags: those little phrases that follow a section of dialogue.
“Run,” he said.
“Why?” she asked.
“There’s a T-Rex coming!” He exclaimed.
“Oh,” she said warily.
One of my favorite things to do is to wait until a new author writes “Why?” she asked and then I say, “Lose the tag, we know she asked – the question mark gave it away.”
It’s fun for…
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