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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kryptonite

Kryptonite, the one thing that could bring the man of steel to his knees.  His Achilles' heel.. 


Thing is, we all have some sort of kryptonite in our life.  Something that never fails to bring us to our knees.  I'm not going to turn this into a personal life type post but think about it.  We all have issues in our writing that brings it to its proverbial knees.  Meaning, we can always improve our writing.

For example, for a long time "that" or "just" showed up in my writing all the time.  It weakened the writing, kept it from being a good as it could be.

Others among us might have issues with dialogue tags.  Replied, questioned, hissed, sneered, cackled, cried, and so many others.  Usually a simple "said" will do. 

And what about adverbs.  Have you ever read something like these, "yelled loudly"  "whispered quietly" or "ran quickly"?  Those adverbs weaken our writing.  Not only are they redundant, they tell us instead of showing us. 

Another weakening issue is generic terms.  Chair, car, house.  Instead, why not use words that show us a specific item, for example, a rocker, convertable or victorian. 

Sure, these things are fine for a first draft.  Remember, the first draft is to get the story written, to get it on paper (or screen) so we have something to revise.

So, what's your writing kryptonite?

6 comments:

Name: Luana Krause said...

My Kryptonite is during the editing process when I have to cut great lines...I hate to "kill my darlings" but it must be done. Sometimes I'll write a whole other story just so I can use that line.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Mine is probably the old frying pan over the head. You know, saying the same thing like five different ways. I need to know that you get it! Understand? :-)

Nicole L Rivera said...

They your's get me every time. I understand them and know how to use them properly, but apparently my brain can't process grammar and story at the same time so they come out all wrong and I have to go back and fix them.

Awesome post :)

Sun Singer said...

Basically, I can't spell worth a darn and rely on the kindness of strangers to point out where I have left a typo or "their" rather than "they're."

Jean said...

Ohhhh...I didn't even think about the their/they're/there thing. Or the your/you're thing. There are quite a few of those and seeing them in published writing drives me nuts.

As far as typos though, I blame the gremlins. :-)

Name: Luana Krause said...

My Kryptonite is during the editing process when I have to cut great lines...I hate to "kill my darlings" but it must be done. Sometimes I'll write a whole other story just so I can use that line.