Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things I Hate About Writing

Wordiness.  Ever since I learned my alphabet I've been the concise goddess.  It's a flaw from the reader's side because reading unedited me requires a magnifying glass, so  I work very hard to add air and cute little nothings into the sentences I write.  But o the pain!

Long erudite words.  They can be delicious.  Chili peppers can be delicious, too, but a quarter teaspoon is enough.   The snag, for me, is that long erudite words are easier than finding the needed short and crunchy expression to replace them without losing the meaning.

Bland verbs.  Verbs are the horses on which sentences ride, and bland verbs are like old and tired nags.  But my arsenal of exciting, humorous, onomatopoetic or otherwise strong verbs is pitifully meager.  That's because I write in a language I didn't learn as a pupa goddess.  It's never the same, to learn something from dictionaries and grammars, and decades of real practice still leave me feeling that I'm trying to do microsurgery with mittens on.

Stagnant sentences.  Each sentence should bring the story forwards.  Like mail being carried, quickly and precisely.  But sometimes a sentence is necessary, and still it just stands there or even shakes or tries to turn back.  Fixing it in various ways usually looks like a pileup of bandaids/plasters.  One stagnant sentence sometimes makes me kill the whole story dead.

Editing.   You must have noticed that.  Almost everything here is written and then scanned through once.  Plenty of time later to feel embarrassed about the results.  I know that editing is very important.  But it's not fun.

On the other hand, I adore writing!  I want to marry writing, have wild sex with it, make it have my babies, wrap myself in that zone only writing can offer for hours and hours.  It's a chronic disease, that writing desire.