I’m Very Unique. Hopefully.

Grammar PoliceVery, Exceedingly, Exceptionally Unique

Now, I’m not the world’s leading grammarian, and I’ve been known to mal a few apropisms myself. But the proper usage of some key words must have been beaten into my brain at very impressionable times, because every time I hear them misused, my blood pressure rises. Unfortunately it seems every few years, like an eclipse or volcanic eruption, the words I most hate to see used incorrectly also happen to be the ones most publicly mangled.

Hopefully, Hopefully

A decade or so ago, “hopefully” was the one that drove me to the hypertensives. HOPEFULLY DOES NOT MEAN “I HOPE!” Actually, I guess it does, now, as it’s been misused into common usage. So I’m getting past it, but NOOOOOO!  Enter, stage left: “very unique.” [Read more…]

8 Jobs of Modern Writers–Plus One: DOGGED TRUTHSEEKER

8 Jobs of Modern Writers–Plus One:  DOGGED TRUTHSEEKER

Spotted an excellent essay on the consistently fine My Name is Not Bob blog by Robert Lee Brewer, in which he lists these 8 Key Jobs of Modern Writers: Writer; Editor; Copywriter; File Clerk; Negotiator; Accountant; Marketer; Speaker.  I believe Bob left out one key skill:  RESEARCHER (or, more accurately, “Dogged Truthseeker).

ALL writers must be master researchers. This is harder than it looks (and it looks pretty darn hard).  Today, information is everywhere and truth is hidden.  The online world is filled with hamster-wheels of mock expertise.  Yet without [Read more…]

Romance Writers Enough with the Rules Already!

Romance BooksRomance Writers Enough with the Rules Already!

Just stumbled on a short and funny essay by Avon’s romance blogger Lucia Macro.  From her opening lines:

“I’ve been seeing a lot of rules lately about romance writing. My advice today: stop. Please stop. Honestly, I’m not sitting around looking to see if your book has a prologue, if your pov shifts around a bit, or if [Read more…]

Sweating the Exception: An Exhaustingly Bad Idea

A worthy hit

Today my friend Michael Larsen, probably the menschiest literary agent on the planet, and I were talking about The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.  That book, published by the admirable Little, Brown, was a buzz book last BEA.   A first novel acquired for scads of money & published with great enthusiasm–but both Mike and I were underwhelmed by the read relative to the ransom.  Mike pondered:  What does this mean? Is character [Read more…]