For those who haven’t been here before (tsk tsk) in the past weeks I’ve featured some writer friends who have some excellent books out this year. I asked them to send me their latest book, their tagline and a short piece of advice they wanted to pass on to writers, especially those still seeking publication. Last week CRYSTAL COLLIER with her books, MOONLESS AND SOULLESS This week I have an old friend of mine, JENN HUBBARD. We debuted together, and she writes some excellent books. UNTIL IT HURTS TO STOP (Viking 2013) is her latest.
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Jenn’s advice is quite similar to Medeia’s, but while Medeia’s focused on young adult writing, I think Jenn opens it up to include writing across all categories. At the word level, the danger in following this advice might be in our trying to impress the reader with our knowledge of those stupendous–sublime–exotic adjectives and adverbs.
I love all of our words, but we risk falling into the quick fix called “telling” when we grab for the adjective or adverb and don’t create images with active verbs to “show” what we mean by things like, “Marsha was repulsed by her mother.” For me, a better way to capture that repulsion is through action. “I wanted to strangle Mother, but I’d have to touch her do it.” That last sentence gives me the chills. The first one, not so much. What do you think?
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My quote for the day: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” Confucius