When I was a brand new writer, a number of well-established authors helped me. They gave me advice about my blurbs, how I structured my stories, my phrasing — essentially everything an early-stage writer needs to get a handle on things. Now, five years later, I won’t claim to be well established myself, but I do have my first million words written, and I do my best to return the favor by helping others who are at the beginning of their writing journey. As I do, I see many of the same mistakes repeated over and over.
Hemingway is famous for his short, straightforward sentences that get rid of unnecessary descriptive words for a more concise, minimalistic style of writing. – August Wainright
In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway wrote, “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of the iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”
This was a grand departure from the great literature that preceded it, like that of Dickens, Hugo or other romantic novelists. While Hemingway was a pioneer in this more terse, modern style, his opinions are by no means universally accepted. I have done some research and given some thought to the divergence of opinion on the uses and styles of description in modern writing and what brought about the changes. Continue reading “Writing Description: Then and Now”
Lately I’ve had quite a few editing jobs, working them in between my own writing and promotion of my latest book. I enjoy editing. I’ve always had a critical eye and an analytic brain, so very often anomalies in the writing will jump off the page at me. The caveat, of course, is that this art we practice is a highly subjective one, so while there are guidelines and style manuals to set general rules, those rules can and are broken regularly if the story requires it.
A discussion on Facebook page and the painful awareness that, for a number of reasons, I have not yet finished resurfacing the foundation of my house, sparked a train of thought on writing I’d like to share with you. I know that seems a stretch but hear me out. All will be revealed.