Saturday, February 22, 2014

HOW TO WRITE GOOD--by CHERYL PIERSON



Since we don't have a regular blogger scheduled for today, I thought I would put up something funny--yet meaningful in some ways. (Tongue in cheek.)

(Number 6 should say, "Writers" not "Writes")

What do you think? Have any others to add? After years of editing, the one that comes to mind for me is, "Be care of using too many descriptive, detailed, pointed, modifying adjectives and adverbs all together, separated by so many commas that your run on sentence can only be halted in mid-stride by a semi-colon; then, it plunges on down the mountain and around the curve toward the oblivion that it was destined for because no one can even remember or, by this point, care about what you were trying to relate in the first place."

Pet peeves any one? It's your turn to talk about "Writing Good".

11 comments:

  1. Thanks Cheryl. It is always good to have a little reminder. The only thing I would add is to ask one's self if what was written is believable,even if fiction.
    Good post.

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  2. The thing I love about this is the way writing has changed over the years. To read the writing from the nineteenth century is like reading your descriptive sentence. But some of the other rules do apply today. Fun and useful reminder. Doris

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  3. Yes, Jerry, I agree! I bet if we sat down and thought about it, we could come up with all kinds of "additions" to this list, couldn't we? LOL Another one is, "Punctuation is not interchangeable."
    Cheryl

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  4. Yes, Doris, you are so right about the way writing has changed. I remember back in the 70's, POV could be all over the place and no one gave it a second thought. I had a prime example of that in a book I kept for years to illustrate the difference of "then" and "now" so that my writing students could see it --it's so much easier to show examples rather than explaining it for some of them.
    Cheryl

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  5. 11. Don't write paragraphs that go on for six pages on a Kindle. (my pet peeve) I figured it out--160 words fills up a Kindle when the text size is one step up from normal.

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  6. HA! That's a good one, Jacquie! And very timely! Well, heck, I don't like paragraphs that go on for six pages no matter what kind of format I'm reading. LOL
    Cheryl

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  7. I love this :-)

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  8. I think a good writer can get away with a lot--even bad cliches, used in the right context. My only pet peeve is when a sentence just doesn't make sense. I'm certainly guilty of this, so this is where an editor can help. And I don't mean that the grammar is bad, often it's not, it's that describing A to B to C was convoluted as C to A to B.

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  9. Steve, I knew you would! You should come over here and visit more often--we blog about all kinds of good stuff!
    Cheryl

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  10. Kristy, you're right--it also depends on the writer and how long they've been at it, if they have a following, etc. I have seen a lot of very "sellable" writers out there that use clich├ęs but they get away with it because they already have drawing power. Description like you're talking about is hard in some cases--my fight scenes have to be very carefully thought out.
    Cheryl

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  11. "Less is more" - the trend nowadays is for less flowery description and more sparse text. As Renaissance Women said, writing has changed a lot over the years!

    Also: Know Thy Language! Nothing burns me more than reading poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation. "Text-speak" seems to be the only language that some youngsters know, and we're rapidly going back to those days when spelling was arbitrary. I haven't quite decided whether today's kids are more ignorant than we were at their age, or if they're just uneducated in the basic skills we were drilled in....

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