Friday, June 18, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

Elizabeth Mueller issued a challenge in her Breaking the Rules Blogfest. In order to break the rules have to know what they are. The list on Elizabeth's blogfest challenge is pretty comprehensive:
  1. Cut down on adverbs.
  2. Single Point of View Characters (no omniscient)
  3. No purple prose
  4. Perfect grammar
  5. Tight sentences
  6. 'said' only speech tag
  7. Too many commas and such
  8. No cliches
  9. Fresh writing
  10. Natural dialogue--no spelling out language the way it sounds: "Ah din't know yous kewd doose dat?"
  11. Characters: cliche descriptions
  12. Present tense form being a no-no
I looked in my vast pile of tossed aside story beginnings, writing excercises, and insomnia induced ramblings. Fortunately, I didn't find one that encompassed all of the no-no's so... I though I'd write one that incorporated as many as possible.

I flew out the door like a bat-out-off hell (8) and hopped in my camaro. I frantically (1) gunned the engine and tore out of the parking lot.

"That was a close one!" (8) I schreeched excitedly. (2,6)

Alighting my promethium flame to the cylindrical harbinger of death, I inhaled the ethereal fragrance of the Marlboro. (3)

I drove along the dark and dingy streets of the city of my youth and pondered the predicament I now found myslef inescapably tangled with. (4,5)

Martin, my "brother from another mother"; a friend-in-need, sat on the precipice of danger -- of death itself, and I was the only one with the answers! (7)

To do or die, that was the question, where it was better to suffer the danger of bad luck, or not. (9) I had to do something. I quaked in my boots and wondered if I had the guts. (8)

Then, suddenly, I recalled the words of my father as we sat in his New Your style deli, "Forgetta 'bout it. I'll all commout 'ina wash. Jus do whatcha gotta do." (10)

He was right. I ground my chisled jaw and a glint flashed in my crystalline-blue eyes. (11)

I raise my hand with determination, promising to save my friend. (12)

"Not on my watch," I am yelling maniacally (12) into the wind. "Not on my watch!" (6,8)

I hope you got a kick out of my short excerpt. There is an excellent website called Grammar Girl that offers Quick and Dirty Tips to make your writing better and avoid these pitfalls.

If you had fun reading this entry, hop on over to Elizabeth Mueller's blog and check out the other entries.  Until next time...Go Write!

Photograph by valerianasolaris.