Time to Get Spoopy!
Some Halloween-themed Writing Advice
Why, hello there, my spectral visitor. I hope you’re enjoying your All Hallow’s Eve, whether your activities include watching Kate & Leopold at home alone, romping around town in a bear costume, or trying to make it to three different parties in one night and still make it home at the end.
In other SCARY NEWS, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.
Actually, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve decided what I’m working on, hashed out a plan of attack, and properly psyched myself out for Abandoning My Social Obligations and Spending A Lot Of Time At Home Alone Writing.
Sorry in advance if I don’t make it to your birthday party.
So I read this really rad piece of writing advice by Chuck Palahniuk yesterday. It’s all about making your writing stronger, sharper, and more emotionally intense by eliminating “thought” verbs.
To be honest, I don’t think there’s anything that frightens me more.
But I was lured by my friend Paul Krueger into making a pact: a pact to obey Palahniuk’s fascist rules and try to cut all verbs that place distance between reader and character, including:
And so on.
As if that wasn’t enough! As if that wouldn’t make writing 50,00o words in a single month more difficult! Pffft. WE ARE WORD VIKINGS HERE.
So in an optimistic bout of masochism, I’m also obeying Palahniuk’s second group of rules: hunting out my laziest writing and eliminating dreary, useless verbs like “is” and “was.” This includes slashing every use of:
“Her eyes were…”
No more stopping the action to describe a relevant detail. No more stepping back to set the scene. The game becomes weaving it in naturally, making it an active participant in whatever’s unfolding.
Get writing! Get spoopy!