Little Women, 1984, and a Little Woman

Little Women, Little Woman, Louisa May Alcott Our home is full of great books. Though I’m the writer, my wife is far better read and has by far the bigger collection of great literature. One of her favorites has long been Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Her love of Little Women has been reinforced because we have four daughters.

One of our daughters found my wife’s battered, tattered and beloved copy the other day, and it happened when a camera was handy…

Like mother, like daughter(s).

After Little Women, she read Orwell’s 1984.

Like father, like daughter. 😉

Descriptive Writing, Agency, Telling Details, and Adjectives

Writing, Grammar, Grammarly, Ginger, telling detail, writing tips, writing craft, agency, descriptions in fiction, descriptions, how to write descriptions, good descriptions, powerful descriptions, compelling descriptions, memorable descriptions, description words, description synonym, agency in writing, descriptive writing, agency in fiction, creative writing workshop, critique group, Emma Darwin, adjectives, adverbs

Descriptive Writing

As I continue to edit my work in progress and think about meeting readers’ expectations, especially when it comes to descriptive writing, I recently came across and interesting review of Peter Mendelsund’s What We See When We Read, “a book that explores how people imagine and remember the things they read.”

I’ve always been loath to write (and dislike reading) detailed descriptions of characters and settings. I’m OK with details that surface as the story progresses when they are relevant, but one of the fastest ways for me to lose interest in a book or story is a front-loaded block of description sentences which have no other purpose, and an abundance of adjectives and adverbs. She was tall and had green eyes. She stepped over the puddles with her long legs while smiling at Bob, showing off her perfect, white teeth… Ugh.

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Bestsellers, good writing, bad writing, and popular writing

Bestseller, Bestsellers, Best Seller, Bestseller List

At the risk of provoking the popular vs. good debate,  aspiring writers who wish to write well should study the novels that have endured (let’s call them the works of “masters” for this discussion), not the forgettable books on the top 10 bestseller list this week.

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Exceptional Review of Apocalypse Now

Vietnam War

Apocalypse Now is one of the “best” movies ever made, in my opinion (acknowledging that “best” is in the eye of the beholder, though there are a lot of people that think this). More than that, it is a brilliantly told story, albeit the storytelling is via a movie. Of course, it is a retelling of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In case you have missed it, the story is about the descent of one man into insanity to confront another who has already descended to that place.  Who knew there is an exceptionally thoughtful review of it on YouTube?

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Creative Writing Professor Takes Time To Give Every Student Personalized False Hope – The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

It is hilarious, but also sad. If you aspire to anything in life you need training and mentors. Unfortunately there are people who are either incompetent and don’t realize it, or incompetent and preying on your desire to improve yourself. This is why “selfhelp” books are such a huge business. “How to Get Rich!” or “How to lose weight!” or “Enjoy the Best Sex of your Life!” So given that I spend a lot of my time blog writing, I thought I would share this one. Read this and enjoy it, and all credit to The Onion, but also take it to heart…

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Dune and Writing Rules

Writing rules, Writing workshop, Adverbs

In my writing workshop a long debate broke out about adverbs. Why they are evil, when they are needed and when they are not. The participants even offered example sentences of good and bad use of adverbs and when they are and are not needed for clarity.

This is killing me…

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Stephen King On Writing: A Review

 

Stephen King On Writing, Carrie, Misery, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Art

I’ve not posted much recently. I have been heads down writing and reading to improve my craft. One of the books I’ve read is Stephen King’s On Writing. As a maturing writer,  I’m attentive to writing, but also writers. I have long avoided this book because I really do not care for King’s writing. And to be honest, after having read this, I still don’t care for his novel writing.

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