Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Being a Hater

Today I'm being a hater, but not in regard to ethnic groups, religious freedom, or in respect to the definition of marriage. Today, specifically, I hate two things: skinny jeans and the word "suddenly."

Issue #1: I have worn corsets before. When you squeeze a fleshy body into a corset, the excess skin puddles out the top and the bottom as the torso takes on the shape of the desired silhouette. This is what is supposed to happen. If you've got extra girth, you will end up with bosom and back cleavage. You may also have abdominal cleavage -- which isn't pretty. Luckily everything below the waist is disguised by skirting.

This is not the case in skinny jeans. The laws of physics still apply. Ladies, just because you can button them up does not mean they fit. The jean is designed to create a specific silhouette for your leg/but/hips, but if there is any extra girth, it will puddle out at the closest exit -- the waist. It's really, really unattractive. There is not enough blousing in the world to disguise the belly rolls. You're not fooling anyone. It's not a good style if you have any body fat. Please, take an objective look at yourself in the mirror. Just because it's in style doesn't mean you should wear them.

Skinny jeans can be equally wrong on gentlemen. Years ago, men stopped paying attention to the natural waist line in favor of sagging. Now there are two generations of men out there, some wearing skinny jeans, that don't know that trouser waist bands belong closer to the belly button than the anus. Skinny jeans are not for everyone, so that alone is a problem amongst those who wear them without consideration of whether or not they should, but to then sag them creates a backside silhouette of a fully loaded baby diaper. It's just wrong. Please, take a look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house. Please.

Issue #2: Many people say that use of adverbs in genre fiction makes a lazy writer. Instead of modifying your verb, choose a stronger verb. I agree with this sometimes. When I am critiquing someone's work, I do not automatically cross out every word that ends in 'ly.' I may comment if there is adverb over-kill, but I try not to edit the author's voice so much as their content.

That said, I will cross out every single "suddenly" I see. Usually the word is inserted to get the effect of surprise, being caught off guard. The problem there is that the word takes all that away. The bat swooping into the woman's face is much more sudden if it just happens, with the warning word of "suddenly." I really hate the word. I sigh when I see it in published books. I cross it out and recommend alternatives when I see it in something I'm editing. When I find myself using it, I slap myself and delete it quickly (adverb) before anyone can see. Lesson of the day: if you have to include the word "suddenly" (or "all of a sudden"), you have just made the scene not so sudden. Don't do it.

Okay, so that's my hating rant for the day. What do you hate?


Unknown said...

I hate sentences and paragraphs that start with "so".
"So I decided to go home."
"So I bought a motorcycle."
"So I killed him instead."
There are two things I hate about it. 1) It's a bridge for lazy writers and 2) I REALLY hate how often I use it. I'm trying to get better about that, though.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I hate onomatopoeia like... viciously. Just use a simile or something. Don't make me sound stuff out.

Ironically, I hate the use of the word 'just' and yet am so guilty of it that upon editing it out I end up with a significant word count change.

Funny post. :)

Unknown said...

Totally with you on the word "suddenly". Unfortunately I find it in my writing rather frequently. Particularly in inner dialogue.

As for the skinny jeans . . . we should just all go back to the days of chemises and tunics. That would solve that problem ;)

Susan Kane said...

Those skinny jeans on women should be torched.

I am guilty of all the literary mistakes. My problem is that I write a lot in dialect, which leads to errors.

May I be forgiven by all readers.

A.T. Post said...

People who put "lol" at the beginning (or end) of EVERY SINGLE TEXT MESSAGE THEY WRITE.

dolorah said...

Oh honey I totally get you on all points. Evaluate everything to know if it fits, r just is easy to write. Fashion changes, good writing is eternal.


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