Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Today's writing lesson to self: do away with weasel words.

Every word seemed to take all of Jorge's strength.
Every word took all of Jorge's strength.

It's funny, I've read that 'weasel word' advice a dozen times, and I always nodded and said, yep, that's right. And I've mentioned it in my crits of others' fiction: "Don't pull your punches, don't undercut your characters and their actions, make your prose stronger." It's so easy to see the fleck in another's eye, and not the beam in one's own. Over the last day or so I've been noticing that damn, I do it myself if I don't actively pay attention.

You can't just go through your manuscript with Find and Replace and get rid of every 'seemed' and 'appeared'. Sometimes statements need to be qualified to be accurate. But it's amazing how often weasel words sneak in when they're completely unnecessary, when they only serve to weaken the statement that's being made.

It's kind of embarrassing. As if I'm subconsciously afraid of writing forthright and muscular prose.

*smacks himself around a bit with a large trout*

I've been stuck at one point in my current story for two days. I think I've put in at least 18 hours on a single scene, one or two paragraphs, maybe 200 words. The problem was that I loved that scene too much. It didn't serve a valid purpose in the story, but I loved it too much to let it go, so I kept fiddling with it, moving it forwards and backwards, rewriting it, speeding it up, adding tits, doing everything I could think of to save it.

I finally realized that it just wasn't a necessary scene, and killed it, and now the wip is flowing freely again. Damn, I wasted a lot of time on that scene. But better it die now than muck up the story forever.



meaning: defend, protect

弁護士 == bengoshi == lawyer
護衛 == goei == guard, convoy, escort, 

Left radical is 'words' (言). Top part of right radical was originally a pictograph of a 'crested bird', bottom part is 'hand', meaning 'snare/seize'. Thus, this character originally meant 'snare with words', and referred to defending oneself in an argument. This apparently led to current meanings related to the law, and also to meanings related to 'defense' in general. Henshall suggests taking the top part of the right radical as 'bird' and 'grass', and as a mnemonic: 'Wordily defend hand seizing bird in grass.'

Stroke order from Josh's Chinese Lookup Thingy (animated)
Stroke order from Taka Kanji Database
Other info from Taka Kanji Database
Gahoh kanji movie

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