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Lose the Lukewarm Writing – Going from Tepid to Torrid

 

I’m inclined to agree…
I was a little upset…
It was almost too much to bear…
He was kind of difficult…
She was barely passing…
She was practically salivating…

These limp descriptions are the tepid water of writing – the equivalent of a timid hand raised half way with no real expectation of being called upon.

So why do I find my first drafts peppered with these innocuous constructions? This nowhere land of lukewarm emotions waters down the story and depicts characters as mere shadows rather than the complex flesh and blood beings they should be.

I believe…
I was furious…
It was unbearable…
He was impossible…
She was failing…
She was frothing at the mouth…

Does this reluctance to commit to strong prose mirror my self-doubt as a writer? Am I trying too hard not to offend anyone? I don’t know what subconscious motivations are driving this drivel. Maybe it’s nothing more than habit. I do know that they have to go. If I want to write clean, clear, prose (and who doesn’t?) then I must say what I mean and allow my characters to speak the truth. These ineffective, meaningless qualifiers must meet a timely demise swift execution.

 

 

The person who left this was kind of rude
The Death of Manners

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