10-Second Review: You need to re-write in order to keep your readers turning the pages.
Title: “Make Your Readers Stick Around.” JE Ames. The Writer (August 2008), 32-34. The Writer is a publication by writers for writers. Its purpose is to encourage writers to keep on writing.
Quotes: “Many well-intended writers of mainstream and genre fiction focus on the stupendous ‘opening hook’ without considering that reader interest is almost always strong at the beginning. The more serious problems creep in later on….” p. 32.
“Rewriting is crucial to a seemingly effortless flow. Shakespeare claimed he ‘never blotted a line,’ while Gustave Flaubert didn’t stop polishing the manuscript until his publishers pried it from his ink-stained fingers. Most writers fall somewhere between these two extremes, but ‘rewriting,’ as William Zinsser said, ‘is the essence of writing well.’ ”p. 34.
“Only through copious rewriting can writers achieve the unbroken flow that’s critical to holding readers. Each rewrite should pare another layer of unnecessary verbiage from your manuscript, honing each sentence for brevity and clarity.” p. 34.
“… polysyllabic Latinate words are annoying, especially if readers are driven to the dictionary.” p. 34.
“…requires writers to constantly demand of themselves: Why should the reader want to keep turning the pages?” p. 34.
Comment: Valuable advice. RayS.
The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in recent American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.