So, after all this complaining about the Damned Dystopian it seems that I am now one chapter away from being done. I need to go through this book that has caused me so darned much grief and do another draft. (And another and another and another, still.) However, I sent the first 185 pages to Steve (my agent!) and he told me nice things about what I had done so far. He also gave couple of suggestions that I need to incorporate the next time through the book (which will be today.) (I hope to be done tonight.) (I better be done tonight.) (It seems I have a talk with another editor this week.) (For another book.) (Another book that I haven’t written.) (So, I must be done tonight.)
When I sent Steve the draft I told him I had marked a lot of ‘ly’ words in color and that those, I planned, were to be removed the next time through.
Yes, the hated (and I do mean HATED when I’m the reader) ‘ly’ word. Anyone who knows me, knows that I mark all ‘ly’ words that can be exchanged with a stronger word. And the more I learn about writing, the more I know I want as few ‘ly adverbs’ (as Mette Ivie Harrison calls them) in my writing. ‘Ly’ words are weak and for me, they scream “Look! Look at me and my poor word choice!” (Okay, this is what I think. This is not what other writers think. In fact, I know that Ann Dee doesn’t agree with me on this.)
That said, guess what? When I was determined to just this get DD written no matter what, I found out why writers put the adverb into their writing. It’s easy. I have more finallys, suddenlys and actuallys in this draft than I have had in ALL my other novels combined. When I write fiction, I ponder the best words as I’m going along. I couldn’t for the DD. It got to the point where I just had to get the book on the page. And so I did. No matter what.
Now, in the comfort of my little office (where I can see everything my naughty little children do) (not including Kyra who is many times listening to screamo crappo downstairs so low I can’t hear it), I can cut, cut, cut and replace all my weak writing. This will be a relief. I hope.
Do all ‘ly’ adverbs have to go? I’ll try to get rid of them, but the fact is, you sometimes need them.
And here’s another interesting tidbit. My friend, librarian Pat Castelli, has told me over and over that most readers are blind to good, strong writing. Most readers, she thinks, don’t care how a sentence is put together. That’s why you can have a plot-driven novel that’s poorly written sell loads of copies.
But I do care. And so I must cut.
(Anyway–I was feeling a bit melodramatic there. I need to get a move on. I have work to do.)
BTW, I liked these two articles.