The Much-Maligned Adverb

October 2, 2011 § 10 Comments

Adverbs freak me out.  A few years ago I got serious about my writing and, as a reader, one of my first steps was finding some good books on writing.  And it seemed like every book I picked up had the same thing to say about adverbs: “hunt them down and exterminate them with no mercy.”

And so began the great adverb annihilation.  My writing at the time was rife with them and I soon found, as the books had suggested, that many of them were unnecessary.  I lost a lot of “quickly”s and “very”s and “suddenly”s, and my writing tightened up and « Read the rest of this entry »


Reading, writing, and a mild case of insanity

September 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

This blog in a nutshell…


I love to read, and I have for as long as I can remember.  I was always the kid under the sheets with a flashlight after I was supposed to be asleep.  I still love to read anything and everything, and I want this blog to be both a resource for other people who feel the same way, and a place to talk about books, reading, and the ways both are changing.  I’ll be reviewing what I read, posting and commenting on book news, and compiling lists of books I’d recommend to other bibliophiles, whatever their age.


On some level I’ve always wanted to write, but it wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that I started thinking maybe I could.  Since then, I’ve spent a huge percentage of my free time reading, writing, and learning about what makes stories work.  I’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still more room for improvement than I want to think about.  This blog will be a place where I continue to share the tips and tricks I gather, glean, or learn the hard way.  To start, here’s a list of books I would recommend to anyone thinking about writing.

A mild case of insanity.

Anyone who has ever written something for an audience is familiar with this.  Some days I feel like God’s gift to literature, and others I feel like I would be doing the world a favor if I never wrote another word.  Sometimes it changes in a matter of minutes.  Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  This isn’t what he was talking about, but I think Albert would cut me a little slack and call it insanity anyway.  I don’t have any useful insights on this, but I find that it’s nice to be reminded that it’s something every author feels.

Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

This was definitely a great book to pick up.  It really taught me a ton about common mistakes (like using too many adverbs) that fiction writers make that send up red flags in the heads of editors and agents reading your manuscripts.  I’d say it’s a must read for anyone polishing their first (or second or third) manuscript, though I would also emphasize what they say right off the bat: these aren’t absolutes.  Some of the published examples they select to edit, like the Great Gatsby, lose their voice and uniqueness in the editing process.

If you’re looking for other great books on writing, check out the reading recommendations for writers section of the website.

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