Don’t get hung up on mechanics – make your writing style yours

Don’t get hung up on mechanics – make your writing style yours

As I’ve been laboring over some revisions for my next round of novels, I’ve also been listening religiously to Stephen King’s infamous “On Writing” book, where he talks of his life and his life’s influence on his writing. He also goes into very insightful detail about the craft itself, and I’ll be honest, it’s nearly as fascinating as his fiction.

But he does dive into a lot of “do’s and don’ts” and I think it’s really important for beginning writers (which certainly includes myself) to take those at face value.

The whole “road to hell is paved with adverbs” conversation comes up a lot here, and to a certain point, I agree with King. Overuse of any piece of sentance structure can reduce the effectiveness of that sentence, and the point of emphasis you’re trying to make. That can definitely happen.

But I’m also a big proponent of a writer writing however the hell they want to write. I think King would tell you the same thing.

So while you can choose to spend hours and days going over your second and third revision to remove all those pesky words that end in “ly” keep in mind that everyone has their own style, and there are hundreds of successful authors out there who don’t give a crap about adverbs and just write how they want to write.

I was at a point last week where I literally couldn’t finish revising a sentence, because all this different advice from different sources came through, and it felt like no matter what I put down there I was violating some sacred “rule” about good literature.

Forget all that stuff. The most important thing is that you’re writing, and that you’re writing how you want to write. Just be yourself, and you might be surprised how effective that can be.

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