Writing Advice From the Internet

I occasionally peruse the internet for writing advice trying to shore up what little talent I have with a definitive grasp on the rules.  Suffice to say, I need a lot of shoring up.  Here is a particularly good, and even better, small article with first class comments that really add to the original piece.  This one is over on reddit.com one of my favorite sites.

This article discusses “reader fatigue” which is an awful clever way of saying people will quickly tire of liberal use of adverbs, was, were, -ly words and a few others.  Plus, the author then goes on to give examples in the real world that have nothing to do with writing (yeah, when does that happen?) to illustrate the point.  Good job there.

Go read about reader fatigue.

In the next post:  A review of Scott Lynch’s 3rd Locke Lamora novel:  The Republic of Thieves.  You can see it at the link to amazon there and read the reviews which is how I usually decide what I like, but since it was Locke Lamora it was automatic for me.  It’s been great so far.  I have a gripe or two, but am still enjoying the book immensely.

till next tme, dragons…

 

-d

About DeepMagik

Fumbling through this Hitchhiker's Guide trying to get to Arrakis... aka Have Spice Will Travel :) Find my book and my blog at www.DeepMagik.org

5 comments on “Writing Advice From the Internet

  1. By Dante – January 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    When are you going to update this site…its a treasure trove

    • By scottmas – March 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Eventually Dante. I’m focusing on some other things at the moment but I would eventually like to make this a more comprehensive resource for writers, including feedback. Sorry no timeline!

  2. By Arkade – October 25, 2013 at 6:42 am

    The article wasn’t quite what I expected when I read the title “reader fatigue”, but it has some good information.

    One thing that does cause reader fatigue is excessive use of prepositional phrases. Take the following sentence as an example:

    John got into the car, then remembered that he had left his keys on the table.

    “into the car” is a prepositional phrase, as is “on the table”. These phrases create relationships that tells the reader where the things are in relation to each other. John is in the car. The keys are on the table. Now lets lengthen the sentence with an additional prepositional phrase.

    John got into the car, then remembered that he had left his keys on the table in the kitchen.

    Now we have 3 relationships. John is in the car, the keys are on the table and the table is in the kitchen. The reader has to keep track of where everything is in relation to everything else. John, car, keys, table, kitchen. That’s not too much to handle. But what if we have even more prepositional phrases?

    John got into the car, then remembered that he had left his keys on the table in the kitchen, on top of the newspaper in which he had read the article about the man who walked into a police station with a loaded gun and began shooting up the place.

    This is really, really hard to follow. There are too many things to keep track of. This is an extreme example, but using too many prepositional phrases in a sentence is a common problem. Cut the ones that aren’t necessary and if there are still too many, break the sentence into multiple sentences:

    John got into the car, then remembered that he had left his keys on the table, on top of the newspaper. As he trudged back to the house, he thought about the article he had read that morning. A man had walked into a police station with a loaded gun and begun shooting up the place.

    • By Simonas – October 26, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Sound advice.

    • By DeepMagik – October 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Great insight Arkade! Good examples and good separation each one to make your point clear.

      -d

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