“If the sickly-sweet word, the overblown phrase are a writer’s natural form of expression, as is sometimes the case, she will have to compensate for it by a show of vigor, and by writing something as meritorious as the Song of Songs.” – Strunk & White’s Elements of Style

Yeah, so… I have a problem with wordiness. A big problem, actually. I think it’s a kind of pretentious writer’s adolescence that needs to be shaken off. Sometime, when I was twelve or so, being wordy made me sound a genius for my age, and as it was encouraged by teachers and the like… Praised for being provocative and eloquent and what have you, I kept doing it. Then I read Poe, which REALLY gave me license to indulge it. But now that I’m all growed up, shall we say, it’s certainly lost much of its charm.

I’m fairly convinced no publisher is going to want to look at it, as soon as they see this page of ggaaaahhh too many dashes. In looking at what I’ve written, I’m fairly convinced that I need to go through and… If anything, just cross out adjectives. And seriously, use dashes and semicolons less. I’m sort of embarrassed for myself.

…But some of it must come from a good place, right? When I get into my Masterpiece Theater voice, and feel as if I must be sitting in a study that smells like leather and pipe smoke…? Sometimes when people warn me about my wordiness, I get really annoyed. Like they assume I’m not skillful enough to pull of something “meritorious.” I want to believe I can… I just think I shouldn’t try every freaking page.

For a long time, the first thing I remembered was the cave — looking up at the tiny specks of reflected light, where bits of quartz stuck out of the duskier ore, winking on and off at me. It had taken a few seconds to sense the soft of the sand below, as my head stung with the dull resonance of being empty. I had scrambled up off the ground, digging my fingers into the soft rock, whipping my head around as the terror of unfamiliarity set in. I had not known where this place was — a damp chamber of earth with the cyclic ocean roar somewhere nearby. 

It was as if I had been born, sea-flung like driftwood — but I noticed that my clothes were not wet. Damp, but only with the moisture of the sand. It was not a perfect birth, for I sensed it was not my beginning. I knew I had a self that was forgotten, so I felt a loss — but also a fear, because I did not know where it had gone. Or where it might find me again. I could discover her anywhere — she could be hiding — waiting to spring…

Too many dashes, it’s true. This is my story about a sorceress who splits herself into a couple of different people, by accident of course, as the side effect of one of her spells; and of course, she has amnesia. Woo, amnesia. I’m not sure yet how Victorian-sounding I want her to be… By default, I think my narrators sound generically 19th century, probably because I read Jane Eyre at about 14, right around the time that I really started to love writing. But anywho. blah blah blah
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