The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
BrokenChain
Posts: 22
Joined: May 24th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by BrokenChain » June 2nd, 2010, 9:26 pm

Margo wrote:I also align more with the writing-as-craft than writing-as-art camp, which I suspect will be spectacularly unsurprising to quite a few people.
I know what you mean. The problem is I've spent so much time thinking about art in it's older use that writing as craft and art mean exactly the same thing to me. lol

Steppe
Posts: 122
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 7:34 pm
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by Steppe » June 4th, 2010, 12:47 am

I kicked a lot of these issues around to FK7.
Eventually they get logged into the back of your mind and you notice
if your using this that or the other style crutch to many times in to short a span.
Particular fetishes with some people are the use of "as' to introduce an action sequence
and the word "but" to begin the next sentence that balances a previous thought or description.
I think a its like a recipe where a normal amount of style crutches have to be in the mix or the writing
does seem too contrived and paced consciously around pure style overcoming the tale.

I go mad with spelling errors and bad grammar and try to whack out 10-30 pages at a time.
Then go back a day or two later to try to be a page flow cop allowing a few weakness and
making sure the extremes of dialogue or action stay extreme and the transitions are smoothed out.

I do stay very conscious with long sentences to present the information with a word flow
that locks each segment as a unit into a tight package that either promotes the reader absorbing
key facts or inflating a certain environment at the right speed to prepare for action or conflict
dialogue between characters moving away from compromise.

Sometimes I think its a good idea to break the rules and use "suddenly" three times on the same
page; almost as if the writer is just as nervous as the reader while danger approaches.

paravil
Posts: 24
Joined: February 4th, 2010, 9:53 am

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by paravil » June 4th, 2010, 12:24 pm

For me, there are two basic "rules" that I use to assess the strength of writing at the sentence level:

1. The sentence or phrase should read smoothly and clearly. When you read the sentence, do you stumble over the syntax or become confused about what the subject is? For example, the reason that speech tags like "he breathed," "he exlaimed," etc. are so frowned upon is because hey draw the reader's attention away from the dialogue and make them ask questions like how the hell it's possible to "grunt" a sentence.

2. The sentence shouldn't include words or phrases that are unnecessary or that say nothing. The original post here mentioned the phrases, "The fact that," "the fact is," and "the fact of the matter." The fact of the matter is that such phrases usually sound good, and tend to reflect the way people talk, but they don't actually say anything; they add nothing of substance to the sentence. Same thing with words like "very," and "extremely." They are fluff words, and they contribute to an overall lack of clarity.

Adherence to these two rules should not affect a writer's "voice" at all. If your "voice" depends upon vagueness and meaningless phrases to work, I would kindly suggest that your writing is weaker than you think it is. Also, just because someone managed to get away with flubs and weak writing in a bestseller doesn't make it OK.

BrokenChain
Posts: 22
Joined: May 24th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by BrokenChain » June 4th, 2010, 1:50 pm

paravil wrote:For me, there are two basic "rules" that I use to assess the strength of writing at the sentence level:

1. The sentence or phrase should read smoothly and clearly. When you read the sentence, do you stumble over the syntax or become confused about what the subject is? For example, the reason that speech tags like "he breathed," "he exlaimed," etc. are so frowned upon is because hey draw the reader's attention away from the dialogue and make them ask questions like how the hell it's possible to "grunt" a sentence.

2. The sentence shouldn't include words or phrases that are unnecessary or that say nothing. The original post here mentioned the phrases, "The fact that," "the fact is," and "the fact of the matter." The fact of the matter is that such phrases usually sound good, and tend to reflect the way people talk, but they don't actually say anything; they add nothing of substance to the sentence. Same thing with words like "very," and "extremely." They are fluff words, and they contribute to an overall lack of clarity.

Adherence to these two rules should not affect a writer's "voice" at all. If your "voice" depends upon vagueness and meaningless phrases to work, I would kindly suggest that your writing is weaker than you think it is. Also, just because someone managed to get away with flubs and weak writing in a bestseller doesn't make it OK.
omg!!! I bow to your awesomeness!

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by Margo » June 4th, 2010, 3:15 pm

paravil wrote:Also, just because someone managed to get away with flubs and weak writing in a bestseller doesn't make it OK.
I agree. Also, bestselling authors can get away with things that, plainly, would get an unpublished writer a form rejection. An unpublished writer plays by bestseller rules at their own peril.

I should note, though, that I can think of plenty of bestselling novelists whose work never declines in quality just because they've hit it big. The point is, one cannot get sloppy before earning the stripes. Preferably, one never gets sloppy at all.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
J. T. SHEA
Moderator
Posts: 492
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Location: IRELAND
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by J. T. SHEA » June 4th, 2010, 4:33 pm

Steppe. '...if your using this that or the other style crutch to many times in to short a span.' should presumably read '...if you're using this, that, or the other style crutch too many times in too short a span.'?

And by 'as' and 'but' fetishes you really mean 'ass' and butt' fetishes? Oh, maybe not...

BrokenChain
Posts: 22
Joined: May 24th, 2010, 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by BrokenChain » June 4th, 2010, 4:55 pm

J. T. SHEA wrote:Steppe. '...if your using this that or the other style crutch to many times in to short a span.' should presumably read '...if you're using this, that, or the other style crutch too many times in too short a span.'?

And by 'as' and 'but' fetishes you really mean 'ass' and butt' fetishes? Oh, maybe not...
lololololololololool
Last edited by BrokenChain on June 5th, 2010, 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
FK7
Posts: 190
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
Contact:

Re: The rules of "stronger" writing... lol?

Post by FK7 » June 4th, 2010, 10:52 pm

Someone's being KINKY!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests