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Rarely There

A collection of discourses - myriad, profound, uplifting...
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Monday, September 18, 2006

rules of writing

In case it was not obvious, I am into writing these days. I have written about 2 chapters of my first book in my head - words yet to reach paper/pixels. I've put myself on a voluntary quilting and crocheting hiatus so i can hone my my head.

And when I came upon Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, which reinforced some of the things I knew, I tried to re-evaluate how i felt about my writing.

As I visited other sites, I started to realize they were all making the same point, but were sort of theoretical and hard to read, plus, they gave contrived examples to make the point.

However, I liked this example here:
Use adjectives and adverbs with restraint. They quickly start sounding artificial:
OVERDONE:Graceful white gulls hovered lazily above the shimmering blue sea as the glistening, golden sun beamed brightly

I have indeed come across many books with such tedious passages and pages.

I'll keep that in mind: Flowery and tedious out. Crisp and tight in.

But, then again, Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundati Roy have found success despite such tedious and flowery descriptive narrative, so, maybe it's OK.

Finally, I have sort of reconciled that Rules are meant to be broken. So, my approach for now is: write as i always do, whatever comes naturally; read and re-read my writing; preferably have someone else read it as well; stay open; let my thoughts and my keyboard do the writing; pay attention to great minds' advice, they do count in the long run.



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