Thursday, January 5, 2017

Member Profile: M.T. Bass

Member Profile: M.T. Bass

I'm a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why Adverbs Suck for Fiction Writers (unless you need them)

Kill your adverbs -- except the ones you need.
The first agent I met at a 1990’s writers’ conference table glowed after hearing my novel pitch. She loved the idea, a Shakespearean tragedy with Ninja warriors on a science fiction world. So I handed her my the first chapter. She read, scowling, and thrust it back saying, “Adverbs, adverbs, everywhere… kill ‘em, then stop by again.”

Confused, I skulked away. Kill adverbs? Why limit your linguistic toolkit?

Well, that agent was right. Overusing adverbs weakens your writing. To Illustrate, I lifted some text from an early-draft of a thriller I started but lost interested in. The section isn’t bad. And yet, it contains three “problem” adverbs that weaken the writing. These problems many plague writer’s group submissions I’ve read.

Time to learn why adverbs suck. And improve this paragraph along the way. First, meet the victim...

Sample Paragraph: He ran quickly through the field, ducking behind a bush. The camp was deadly quiet. He glanced through the branches warily, making sure he wasn’t seen.”

Now, let's get to work...