Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Writing Rules to Avoid & 2017 Intentions — IWSG (37)

Happy New Years, Guys!!!

As this says:

. . . This year, I intend to get my crap together. Will I succeed? Stay tuned and find out, 'cause your guess is as good as mine :P 

Mainly, I have to figure out how to approach my plans for my two blogs. I've been busy with Writers After Dark and MIA on this one . . . but I'm still blogging, and that's a win, right? o_O Apart from that, I do have many things I'd like to get done this year, but I don't believe in listing things "I'll do" . . . I rather share the things "I did." So here's hoping I have several posts listing accomplishments. And if you're into listing them, what are your goals? (Do as I say, not as I do! lol)

If you need help setting your resolutions, 
here are some funny tips:

IWSG January Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

In writing, there seem to be an infinite number of rules. Any direction you turn, you find different advice on how to be a better writer. Which all seem to focus on what you should and shouldn't do, rather than letting you fully embrace being creative. Or on learning how to break them if needed.

I feel that part of being a great writer is knowing when and how to break the rules . . . and there are several that bug me, but I'll stick to one right now as an example:

Never use adverbs 

I mean, really? NEVER?

Advising writers to cut all adverbs is like advising a string quartet to get rid of the cellist. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of shooting myself in the foot. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not in love with adverbs, but I’m not handicapping my writing willingly. 

Adverbs are an indispensable part of speech, and they aren’t just words that end in “-ly.” Other words like “tomorrow,” “sideways,” “fast” or any other word that modifies a verb’s time, place, or manner is an adverb. As far as the “-ly” ones, you can master the right way to use them with practice, but whenever you can cut them, please do. Saying, “She smiled happily” is redundant.

That being said, it does have its place. An adverb used in the right context can be seductively bewitching.

What about you? 
Any writing rule that gets under your skin?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.


  1. I look ahead, have goals, etc but I also make sure to recognize all the things I've already accomplished, both big and small. :)

    Happy 2017!

  2. Agree about the adverbs! I don't see why some consider them so terrible.

    I LOVE the 1987 picture. Yep, that's me. This is going to be our year though, I can feel it. :D

    Great "seeing" you, SK!

  3. I, too, love the 1987 picture. It's so true to me. :)

    As for adverbs, I try to avoid using them in dialogue tags. I think it was Stephen King who said that if the author is doing his or her job that the reader should know how something is said. Which made sense to me, so I try to do that. Like you said, if I can cut them, I do.

  4. Trust me, I know how to eliminate LY words from a draft! So much so that my critique partners beg me to add a couple back in.
    Happy 2017!

  5. I like making goal lists because it gives me something to check off.

    Those poor adverbs. Always getting murdered while the rest of the words live. LOL

  6. LOL, love the post. Congrats on hanging in with two blogs.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  7. Well, since I was born in 1987, that picture definitely sums up my life, LOL!
    I don't mind adverbs as long as they're not overdone. I think having none would just be silly.

  8. Yeah I remember that adverbs one. I think I rolled my eyes because like you said, yeah, let me shoot myself in the foot right now.

    Here's to a great 2017! And to all the posts listing things you DID. ;)

  9. I am the adverb queen. I've been trying to rid myself of them. But I've recently read two USA & NYT best sellers and those books were littered with adverbs. I guess you have to be great to get away with it.

    Happy New Year!!!

  10. I agree with you. I think people sometimes go out of their way to avoid adverbs... needlessly. :)

  11. Don't know why they treat adverbs like it was some kind of bubonic plague. Sure you don't want to overuse it like a crutch but to cut it out completely? It's all about balance. Use it when you need it and when you don't, don't.

  12. Here's to this being the year! The no adverb rule is ridiculous. I've definitely seen them overdone, but I think eliminating them as a possibility is a stupid thing to do.

  13. Hey, good to hear from you! Yeah, we've never understood that rule, either. Outlawing an entire kind of word? Just because you can't use it properly, don't take it out on us (unfairly). ;)

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