Writing in Generalities–Bad, Bad, Bad

Below are two examples of the same post.  The first one is an example of bad writing.  Although the first is shorter, it is written in broad generalities with no hint of personality or flair.  These kind of general statements are so flat, boring and negative that the reader can barely tolerate to consume them.  It is generic.  Anyone could have written the first one.  A good writer does not want to sound generic.  Style is often referred to as the voice of the writer.  Some experts will tell you that the reader is not suppose to aware of the writer.  This is not true.  As we read we do come to know the writer.  We even begin to visualize them and their surroundings.

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News Flash

Let me save you the trouble of reading the news today.  Or any day for that matter:

More trouble in the Middle East  .  .  .  Stock Market goes up and down  .  .  .   Congress can’t agree  .  .  .   Climate warming continues  .  .  .  Athlete fails drug test  .  .  .   Movie star makes a fool of himself   .  .  . Investors loose their shirts and pants on Ponzi scheme  .  .  .  Food prices dig deeper into the consumer pocket    .  .  .  Euro in deep shit  .  .  .  Company issues recall of product  .  .  .  Bookstore closes  .  .  .  Cell phone store opens  .  .  .  U.S. borrows more money from China  .  .  .  China needs U.S. to consume imported items  .  .  .    Rich get richer  .  .  .  Poor get poorer  .  .  .  Housing market slumps  .  .  .  Crazy dude kills family  .  .  .  Homeless need homes  .  .   .  Senator has girlfriend; wife shocked but supportive  .  .  .  Dog alerts family to fire  .  .  .  Store stick-up  .  .   .  Thieves steal copper  .  .  .  Americans are too fat  .  .  .  Teens can’t read, write, or multiply .  .  .  Fast food is bad  .  .  .  Smoking will kill ‘ya  .  .  .  Doctor accused of Medicare fraud  .  .  .  Divorce rate highest ever in history  .  .  .  Gas rates expect to rise during the holidays  .  .  .  Population down in developed countries by micro points and up in undeveloped countries  .  .  .  New driver runs off road  .  .  .  Trucker falls asleep at wheel  .  .  .  Airplanes are falling apart  .  .  .  Feds cut interest rate  .  .  .  Bank closes  .  .  .  Iraq wants U.S. troops to stay  .  .  .  Iraq wants U.S. troops out  .  .  .   Egypt doesn’t know what it wants  .  .  .  Everyone is afraid of Korea and Iran  .  .  .  Small businessman can’t sell as cheap as Wally World  .  .  .  Large scale farming is unsustainable, but home gardeners are still dorky  .  .  .   Someone semi-important said something nasty about someone very important; apology in the mail  .  .  .  Citizens wonder if freedom of the press means truth in the press  .  .  .  Electricity bill to increase by 3 percent  .  .  .  Postage stamps going up  .  .  .  Company downsizing employees; remaining workers to work twice as hard  .  .  .

And on the very, very local news:  My puppy peed on the floor.  What a surprise!!!

Moods and other Strange Things

Wait! I want'a check my Blog one more time.

At the beginning of last week or maybe even before that, a strange shadow crossed over my psyche.  Call it Blogging Malaise.  I had a couple of posts started but said, ‘Oh, never mind, I’ll just read.’

Many people try to analyze their moods, but I just ride them out.  I mean, ha-hum, I am an artist and woman, so who wants to wade into that quagmire???  Everything passes eventually.

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Future of Books

Excerpt:  Read the entire article at   The Independent: 

…He adds: “If the bookshop lets you have both and has a product every bit as good as the Amazon one, why wouldn’t you do it with a bookshop?”

Daunt makes no bones about his dislike of Amazon. “They never struck me as being a sort of business in the consumer’s interest. They’re a ruthless, money-making devil.” He dreads the physical bookshop disappearing altogether in the digital tsunami.

“The computer screen is a terrible environment in which to select books. All that ‘If you read this, you’ll like that’ – it’s a dismal way to recommend books. A physical bookshop in which you browse, see, hold, touch and feel books is the environment you want.”

As to the books-industry Cassandras who predict that publishers, agents and booksellers may all disappear in the next five years, “I wouldn’t bet against publishers,” he said. “The editorial process and the marketing – someone has to do it. I don’t think agents are the best people to do it.  Authors certainly aren’t – they need editing. I think either all three will survive or they’ll all disappear, swept away, replaced by one big fat Amazon, getting his way. And if the bookshops go, they will never come back.” His combative eyes glitter.

“So I have a responsibility.”

James Daunt: The CV 


ME:  I’ve got to admit that Mr. Daunt makes some good points.  There’s no denying that trying to write, edit, publish and market is too much for one person.  On the other hand–those publishing gates seem to be locked tight.

If the big boy publishers jump into the digital market, I think they’re going to have to expand their selections.  Most publishers only put out a certain genre by a few select writers.  I can’t really see them taking away from Amazon unless they broaden their horizons.

Maybe they could break into genres.  Say, one online spot being the place to go for romance, another being the place to go for sci-fi.

And they’ll have to offer lower prices than Amazon.  Personally, I think it’s outrageous to ask $10.00 for a digital book.  I mean, what’s the overhead on a digital book?  Granted, marketing will add to the price, but it’s still got to be cheaper than a dead tree book.  Right?

What do you think will happen???  I can’t think that it will help the Indie author one bit.

Christmas Faux Pas

There’s something about the Christmas season that turns me into a complete idiot.  Well, maybe not a complete idiot; I’m not so ignorant that I throw myself into debt, but I do lose my ability to shop.  From January until November, I’m a very savvy shopper.  I can be walking through a store and see all kinds of goodies, and I can say with surprising ease: Oh, Bob would like that.  Luke would look good wearing this.  Mom needs one of those.

But, come Christmas, I can’t find anything for anyone.

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What’s an oxymoron?

Richard Watson Todd:

“The true beauty of oxymorons,” says Richard Watson Todd, “is that, unless we sit back and really think, we happily accept them as normal English.” Todd illustrates his point with the following passage:

It was an open secret  that the company had used a paid volunteer  to test the plastic glasses. Although they were made using liquid gas  technology and were an original copy  that looked almost exactly like a more expensive brand, the volunteer thought that they were pretty ugly and that it would be simply impossible  for the general public to accept them. On hearing this feedback, the company board was clearly confused and there was a deafening silence.  This was a minor crisis  and the only choice was to drop the product line.
(Much Ado About English, 2006)

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Break that stuff up for me

Do you tag surf?  Yeah, me too.  It can be fun.  It can be dangerous too, bumping into crazies.  One lady got all upset with me the other day because I said:  Since I do not own any goats or cows, I want to get rid of most of the grass in my yard.

I’m an unrepentant Grass Killer, apparently.  Gasp!   Kook-a-roo naturalist.  It’s a good thing I didn’t tell her that I kill fire ants too.

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Delayed Description

LP Halloween 2011

One of the more serious mistakes that I see new writers make is what I call ‘Delayed Character Description.’

If the writer does not specify how a character looks, dresses and talks early in the piece, then the reader will release their own imagination and begin to formulate a picture in their minds.  I’d opine that this image formulates quickly, as most people like to attach a face and body to a character.

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