Bad Literature Deconstructed

#EAQuote

2016 Gide literature quotescover-JPG-92

“Often with good sentiments we produce bad literature.”

— Andre Gide

 

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Mined My Soul

“It’s not that I bounce ideas off of my children as much as it is that having children has had a profound effect on the way I see the world. They have mined my soul. They’ve made me a better person and therefore a more empathetic writer.”

— Julianna Baggott

 

Cliché Not After My Own Heart

Strong writing is a unique feature of capable authors. It is not merely words strung together, copied and pasted, from society’s lingo.

Here are clichés to avoid…like the plague:

[found on clichesite.com]
  • A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
  • Abandon ship
  • About face
  • Above board
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely
  • Ace in the hole
  • Ace up his sleeve
  • Achilles heel
  • Acid test
  • Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, The
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • After my own heart
  • Ah, to be young and foolish…
  • Airing dirty laundry
  • All bent out of shape
  • All bets are off
  • All dressed up and nowhere to go
  • All ears
  • All for one, and one for all
  • All hands on deck
  • All hands to the pump
  • All heck (hell) breaks loose
  • All in a day’s work
  • All in due time
  • All over the map
  • All paled in comparison
  • All talk and no action
  • All that glitters is not gold
  • All that jazz
  • All the bits and pieces

 

To see the complete list of clichés from clichesite.com, click here.

[found on http://clichesite.com/alpha_list.asp?which=lett+1]

 

Name That Word—No, Not That One…

Have you ever used a word, and found out, to your horror, it doesn’t remotely mean what you intended? Here are a few words that just might fit in that list.

[found on buzzfeed.com; by ]

INFER or IMPLY

What you think: They mean the same thing.

What they actually mean: To infer is to form an opinion based on evidence and reasoning. The listener infers. To imply is to express something in an indirect way without saying it plainly. The speaker implies.

FACTOID

What you think it means: A fun fact of little consequence.

What it actually means: A fun fact that is not true.

INVARIABLY

What you think it means: When something doesn’t happen very often.

What it actually means: Something that’s unchanging and constant, e.g., “The football season invariably starts in August.”

PALATE or PALETTE or PALLET

What you think they mean: The same thing.

What they actually mean: The palate is the roof of the mouth and also a person’s ability to discern different flavours, while a palette is what an artist uses to mix paints.

Neither are to be confused with pallet, which is a wooden platform used to stack things.”

[found on http://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/words-that-dont-mean-what-you-think-they-mean#3wf2cie]


Strategy for Writer’s Block

[found on entrepreneur.com; by Catherine Clifford]


“In many cases, the more important the writing task, the more the would-be writer freezes up. The result can be something of a Mobius strip of anxiety turned into fear turned into more anxiety, and what you’re left with is a blank page.

To help you work through writer’s block, consider the strategies below…

Don’t wait for perfect words. If every sentence has to be a flawless work of art, then you will sit in fear. The sweat might pour, but the words won’t come. Just start writing words on the page. Know that once you have started, you can go back and revise what you have. But until you start, you will never know where you are trying to go. If you are writing on a tight deadline, it is even more critical that you let go of the notion of immediate perfection. One writer friend of mine offered the analogy that writing is like cleaning a messy room: the only way a large mess gets cleaned up is to start tidying one small corner at a time.”

To see the rest of the writing strategies from Catherine Clifford, and to bookmark her articles for your toolbox, click HERE.

 

[found on http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233264]


Market the Author

[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor/ Editing Addict]

Editor Tip: Market the Author

If you are an author, a blogger, or a copywriter…then correct spelling, punctuation, word use, and grammar is a necessity in all areas of your writing…books, blogs, marketing, advertisements, social media, queries, submissions, letters, and emails.

Why…?

I can hear the horrified gasps, feel the eyes rolling—doubt and fear from writers everywhere. Panic in the streets.

Before you throw your hands up, and stop reading, let’s look at the WHY behind this necessity.

 

You are always marketing YOU.

 

Your books come and go, but you, the author, remain constant. You are the first line of defense when it comes to marketing yourself—which you are doing every day, every time you write…anything.

You are marketing not only to readers, but to publishers, agents, editors, and your fellow authors who would network with you. You are marketing your writing ability—yes—but you are ALSO marketing your organization capabilities, your attention to details, your desire for accuracy….

What if you don’t care about details and accuracy? Publishers do.

Publishers, editors, and agents notice. In this world of instant access, through social media and blogs, your everyday comments and posts are seen.


If an author can’t be trusted to use the right word in 140 characters, why would they trust the author with a 300-page book?

 

Agents, editors, and publishers (oh my!) have deadlines. Organization is a big part of that. Make it appear you are organized—even if you have to fake it.

Here are some excellent tools to keep close to you, always. I suggest bookmarking them, as well as storing them on your smart phones and tablets—wherever you write, post, and email.

OneLook.com

  • Dictionary compilation of over 1000 dictionaries
  • Correct spelling not needed
    • It offers options for word spelling
    • Shows several dictionaries, with links.
  • Breaks search answers into four categories
    • General
    • Business (language)
    • Computing (language)
    • Slang*
      • *Words that haven’t made it into traditional dictionaries will show up here.
      • *Caution: When writing items for publishing (versus informal social media, emails…), only use a Chicago Manual of Style approved dictionary, like Merriam-Webster.

Other dictionaries:

Thesaurus:

Grammar:

  • Grammarly.com (not CMS approved, but still a great tool)
    • Copy/paste text in box—it shows grammar errors and weaknesses
  • Guide to Grammar & Writing
    • Quick lookup for parts of speech, word use, and grammar rules

Style Guides:

 

Questions for the editor to answer next time:

[by Billi Joy Carson, Senior Editor / Editing Addict