• Member Since 25th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen August 10th

Wellspring


Teacher, short story writer and VNovel storyboard leader. Please forgive any faulty grammar you may find in my page/stories/blogs; English is my third language and I'm still struggling to master it.

More Blog Posts29

Mar
6th
2013

The Epistemology of Style: Show vs Tell · 6:18am Mar 6th, 2013

The Epistemology of Style: Show vs Tell is the first of the several blog post I will be writing concerning my analysis of writing style.

I am flattered to know that Serenity Viewer is having other writers look at my fanfics as an example of amazing literature. I regard it as an honor I could not have yet deserved. I, personally, believe that I am still a student of literature that still needs several courses on grammar and syntax before I can say that my work is good enough for the analysis of others. However, if I may make a contribution to a field of knowledge so expansive, and my fellow writers can learn from it as I have, then I am glad to have been given opportunity to do so.

If you have any questions, clarifications, additions, and objections regarding the topics covered, I invite and encourage you to write it in the comment section below (or PM me if you want) so that I can respond and contribute to it here. Thank you.

(Also, I wrote this in two nights. Since this is just for a blog entry, and I have no time to proofread everything thoroughly, please excuse the faulty grammar.)

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Comments ( 1 )

SerenityViewer states that adverbs are the devils that should be exorcised from the fic. I am not entirely convinced yet, but his argument is well grounded.

Damn straight.

EDIT: I should probably add more to this.

However, I am unconvinced because sometimes there is no substitute for the adverbs that may provide the same connotation, stress, and accuracy (hastily drawing back doesn’t always imply retreating). As of the moment, my rule is this: substitute if it will not alter the definition and/or connotation.

I find that an adverb-less rewrite is nearly always possible (see what I did there?). You are right, retreat does not convey confusion, fear and stress. But how about this?

"What do you mean?" gasped Rarity, teetering back on quivering legs and groping for the desk behind her. Instead, she found the wall.

I've come to despise adverbs because, quite often, they are "the easy way out." Why bother looking up a stronger verb when you can add a quick and dirty adverb? However, this often results in redundant writing: He viciously hissed is somewhat useless because a 'hiss' already implies a violent attitude. How can one hiss "peacefully?" When you avoid adverbs, you force yourself to recolor your sentences with sharper descriptions. There are many prominent writers, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who have vowed to eliminate them entirely from their works.

And they've succeeded.

Of course it isn't a sin to use one, especially if you are in a tight spot. This is a wonderful guide you've written; I love the focus you give to concrete and abstract details. Very well researched and useful.

You mentioned that a dream sequence is a big no-no? Why not look up those "waking up" intros. They are often a sign that the writer has no idea where to begin his story.

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