Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dear Author,

As I read your much-lauded first novel, quirky as only a novel set in Florida is allowed to be, lauded as only a novel by a very young writer can be, I have a word of advice. I shall go ahead and hope that someone else will encourage you to drop your adverbs and adjectives. Low-hanging fruit, that. I know it would eliminate a quick 20% from your word count, but brace yourself, because I am after another 20%. Please, as you ready your sophomore effort, do a quick scan for the word "like." I know your eighth-grade English teacher told you ten years ago that similes can be very powerful and interesting. He or she was badly overstating the case. When there are five of them on every page, the reader slowly loses the will to live. Some things are just what they are; they do not need to be compared to anything else. Mosquitos do not need to rise from a swamp like a swarm of tiny vampires. That is poor.

FYI, you have also used up your lifetime supply of moths. I do not know why they appear in quite so many scenes or are worthy of such note and description. I commend mothballs to your attention.

No comments: