Editors and style advocates these days are promoting the conversion of gourmet meals of words into packets of popcorn. Is this really what has become necessary to keep the public reading? The above picture shows some of my works requiring total rewrites in order to convert them into the package in the foreground.
The guidelines for the rewrites would be as follows:
Adverbs are taboo. Adjectives are allowed only rarely. Other ways of putting he or she said are frowned upon. Thou shalt not have anyone answer, reply, respond, remark, growl, snap, shout, yell, bellow, rage, whisper, murmur, laugh, gurgle, giggle, chortle, trill, pipe up, interrupt, venture or squeak.
Sentences should be short. Concise. Not need commas if possible. Semi-colons are unnecessary, they should be eliminated completely even if linking two complete phrases. Let me revise that. Don’t use semicolons.
Paragraphs should be kept short and not be allowed to ramble on, even if there is no change in topic or voice. The reader is only to be fed small bites.
Bites that can be mashed up and fed in forkfuls. With the arm in perpetual motion.
Perpetual motion that only ceases when the plate is empty. Then the reader is ready for the next meal.
Clichés are to be avoided like poison. Let me rephrase that. Don’t use clichés.
Obfuscation is anathema. Rephrased: don’t use any words that will confuse your dim readers.
The plot should always involve the main character/s in great suffering. They not only get themselves into horrible situations, but are too stupid to do so without suffering constant damage.
There: you now have a blueprint for your best cellar to get drunk with success on. Oh, and never indulge in wordplay, or end a sentence with a preposition.
© May 2017 Leslie Hyla Winton Noble