Tag Archives: adjectives

News About Lita Burke

Writer Tips for Tweeps: Check Out #LitaLikes

If the tiny twitter writer tips were magical lights, they would look like this.

Tiny twitter writer tips surround Lita like magical lights

For all the Gentle Readers who are on Twitter, Lita Burke has started a hash tag with indie writer wisdom just for you. But do read on, even if you’re not on Twitter–I’m talking about writing tips today.

About #LitaLikes

Here in December, Lita started a series of every-other-day tweets using the hash tag #LitaLikes. These are “tiny twitter tweets” (assonance rhyme intended–apologies–couldn’t help it today) with Lita’s quick tips, advice, and peccadilloes about writing.

Lita will post these hard-learned nuggets of wisdom until I have disclosed all, or an angry mob of orcs chases me away from the computer. The advice bits will be tips about editing your own fiction, the mechanics of eBook formatting, and Lita’s preferences about fantasy worlds and their story-people.

If Gentle Reader likes these, but you aren’t on Twitter, see the most recent #LitaLikes in the Twitter feed on the homepage sidebar of this blog. If you are on Twitter, here is Lita’s Twitter Page.  Feel free to Follow. If you aren’t on Twitter, and want to catch of Lita’s tweets from the source, here is the Twitter Home and instructions on how to become a Tweep–won’t cost you a cent to join. Gentle Reader can also catch my Twitter feed on Lita’s Facebook Page.

Take a Look at #LitaLikes

I suggest all writers print out their stories and read them off of paper for self-editing. Looking at your words on a different medium gives your eyes a fresh perspective.

How I go on about too many adjectives and adverbs spoiling a perfectly good story. Catch Lita’s rants about these fiction no-nos in earlier posts for Killing Me Softly with Adverbs, and That’s No Moon. It’s Excessive Adjectives.

As writers self-proofing our fiction, our eyes skip over typos and grammar flubs because somehow we just don’t see them. Word can speak the text out loud. Lita catches her literary badness using this technique. It is now my last self-editing step before beta readers.

I’ve gushed over my love of fantasy maps before in 6 Critical Elements for Fantasy World Building.

Remember, Lita posts to Twitter several times a day. Be sure to follow the latest about Lita’s fantasy worlds, get the scoop on the latest status for Lita’s stories, and keep the angry orcs away from my door.

That’s No Moon. It’s Excessive Adjectives.

The best part of writing is describing story people and their world. They talk to me and I write down their words: the breezes cool the sweat from my face, garments are satin against my skin, and frying griddle cakes slow me when I walk by their favorite breakfast spots.  To bare all in this blog, I now admit…brace yourself…I enjoy reading (and writing) delicious adjectives. Just don’t give me too many at once.  Let’s look at some examples:

Bad: She was a blond flirt and a clear-skinned, blue-eyed, girl-next-door, wholesome beauty.  Better: The astronaut removed the mirrored helmet, tossed her head to clear blond bangs from a flawless face, and flashed baby-blues.

Bad: The Death Star was huge, gray, lurking, evil, and dimpled like a moon.  Better: Laser cannons dimpled the space station’s drab surface.  Luke mistook the monstrosity for a small moon.

Bad: Doctor McCoy’s response was full of illogical, long-winded, whiny, and judgmental scolding. Better: McCoy let loose an emotive scolding.  Spock arched an eyebrow.

Strings of adjectives dilute the description.  I also put too many adjectives in my own first drafts. When I clean up, I use the best one and cut the rest. Sometimes a strong verb hides as an adjective (see dimpled in the second example). See my earlier post about adverbs for more about the advantages of using strong verbs.

Beware of excessive, pesky, tenacious, scruffy-looking, and stinky adjectives. (See? take ‘em out…)