write

minimalism in writing

Why learn adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases in grammar class? I do not know.

When professionals teach writing, they repeat ‘delete, delete, delete’. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Write crap, or just write, because you’ll likely release some clever stuff. Later, cut out the junky stuff that doesn’t make sense or is cliché, and only leave what is good. Which is not nearly as much as when we start.

I had an opposite approach in high school English. How to make it flowery? I was your girl. Did I have something to say? Hard to tell. But I did like my descriptors. They made me feel ‘writerly’. I disguised my ability to say nothing with loquaciousness.

Chekhov wisely advised, “…be very brief and relevant…one ought to seize upon the little particulars, group them in such a way that, in reading, when you shut your eyes, you get a picture“. Should I be using fancy words that no one understands? Hard to paint a picture with indecipherable combinations of letters.

Chekhov said to write a beginning, a middle, and an end, then cut the beginning and the end. The story is what’s left. Is that for real? That’s a lot of wasted words, and this guy had significantly sized books. He must have free wrote a lot to save so many words.

So what to do with adjectives, adverbs and prepositional phrases? Delete, delete, delete.

 

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