Why Writerly Words Are Not Your Friend
I never thought of this before, but it’s a good point. Damn those writerly words! Why are they so tasty?
by Shannon Donnelly
“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.” – Stephen King, On Writing
There are three huge flashing signs that are the marks of an inexperienced writer. Inconsistent and overuse of punctuation is one of them, overuse of adverbs is another, but the one that really makes a novice stand out as still learning the craft are the “writerly words.”
These are the words thrown in to show off—to make the reader pause and stop and marvel at the writer’s clever turn of phrase. These are words put on the page without thought as to if you’re breaking viewpoint to put that word into that sentence. And, guess what, that stop means the reader’s been…
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