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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

365 days of being a writer: day 41

My internets are back, thank heavens.

Today I had to wake up at 3 am to do inventory at my day job. Home by 1 pm, but by then I am useless. Waited around in a haze of exhaustion intoxication. I have slept poorly all week (no, really!) and today incapacitated me. I napped for an hour, maybe, then had dinner at my parents.

I couldn't write today, am in fact, having a hard time just typing. I did read a bit, somehow, and I think I even retained a bit of it. I finished a collection of essays about birds: it had a couple of winners, a couple of not-up-my-alleys and at least one that was by a "famous" author, yet FULL of terrible typos. If you are a terribly famous writer, are you above editing? If you managed to get a famous writer to contribute to your anthology are edits considered "pushing your luck"?

I also knocked out a section in Spunk & Bite, by Arthur Plotkin, which is supposed to help make my writing EXCITING and ENERGETIC in these modern days of speed readers and multimedia. It has some good information--some interesting views on things--but much of the advice is crappy. The section I read was on adverbs, which I have been spending the last two weeks trying to ferret OUT from my writing, and this book recommends I use them ironically and originally and above all shockingly.

Is "horrifically mundane" really all that shocking? Or does it just scream "I don't have an editor"? Just because oxymoronic adverbs are ALL OVER the best blogs, does that mean its good writing advice to suggest one follow suit? In my own writing this week I referred to a trait (that a bird had picked up) as "eerily human" and I left it in, but I took out an abundance of lazy adverbs. If the car moved "ponderously" can't I just make up a more interesting and evocative adjective like "molassal" to describe its speed? (Plotkin also recommends making up words every now and then). If I am morosely staring off into space, can't it also be said that I am dolorous or lachrymose or lugubrious? All of those options are more interesting, and expressive.

As it stands, I am still mostly against adverbs. Unless some cute little moppet is selling them to me.

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