Tuesday, March 25, 2014

King for adjectives, McCarthy for punctuation

Punctuation I've been thinking a lot about writing recently. This is partly due to the pain induced by making hundreds of essays and reports, but due more, I hope, in anticipation of having students working with me next year on writing projects.

Since I first read Stephen King's autobiography as a writer, On Writing, I have tried to emulate his advice - with words, less is more. Kill your darlings, but most of all, kill all the adjectives.

I'm inclined to add Cormac McCarthy's three punctuation rules to my writing algorithm:

I believe in periods, in capitals, in the occasional comma, and that’s it.

I think I saw a colon once, but I've never seen a semicolon.

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