Apr 6, 2015

How to Write a Damn Good Book Without Any Words, Especially those Filthy Adverbs

Do you want to write a book that will appeal to a mass audience (100+ people) and make you very rich? Follow the recommendations below. 

We can agree that adverbs are horrible. There should be a concentration camp for adverbs. Adverbs ruin writing. Adjectives ruin writing. The ingredients of writing ruin writing. We must cleanse our writing of adverbs and adjectives, and avoid using nouns or articles. We must be spare.

Readers do not want lots of language in your writing. They want to read your books and blog posts to amuse themselves. Adverbs, adjectives and nouns make it difficult for your readers to amuse themselves. Readers don’t want to look up words in dictionaries.

You should avoid adverbs of manner, place, time, inclusion, exclusion, and others. Because adverbs are horrible.

Another thing you should avoid: colors. There are seven real colors. The rest are imaginary and will confuse your readers. Print out a picture of a rainbow and label the colors on it. Include those colors in your writing. Exclude other colors.

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Blue, and Blue.

Do not modify or qualify colors. Colors have no permissible attributes. Red is red. Everyone knows red. No need to compare a thing to another thing just to convey that it is red. It’s unnecessary to say “her lips were red like cherries.” What a waste of the reader's time!

Write “Her lips were red.”

But verbs can get in the way of a perfect sentence, too. So cut more words out of it: “Her lips – red.”

Keep cutting. “Lips – red.”


See? If you write few words, you can write big books. Just think of things to not say and write them down. Get rid of 95%. Write more words and shed another 95%. Repeat this process until you are ready to punch a black bear in the eye with your elbow. The goal is to reach 400,000 words with zero adverbs or fewer, few adjectives (more than 10 is bad) and many, many action verbs.

Writing a book is like baking corn bread. You do not need adverbs or adjectives or even nouns to bake corn bread. It follows that you do not need adverbs, adjectives or nouns to write a book. Adverbs, adjectives and nouns are evil. They were invented by intellectual slackers to ruin your fun and your meals. Imagine that you’re making corn bread and you don’t have any all-purpose flour. Now imagine that you lack the other ingredients: eggs, shortening, corn meal, cooking oil, sugar and salt. I don’t see a problem there. You can make corn bread. It won’t taste or look like corn bread, but it will be corn bread. I promise.

You need to write for people who don’t read. People who don’t read do not like adjectives, adverbs, similes, analogies, hyperbatons or zeugmas. They dislike language, so they go to the movies. They do not read, but they like to pretend that they read and so they buy books. You should write for these people, as there are a lot of them. It’s easy to do so. Make them feel that they are watching a movie, not reading a book. Movies are better than books. If you can jam a soundtrack into your book — and I don’t care what methods you use for that, if that’s what you’re going to do — then do so, because people who hate language respond to music. I’ve heard it said that music is a universal language, but if that were true, I could persuade my local slaughterhouse to sell me a pig carcass for a song. That hasn't happened, So music can’t be a language.

Now, a few words about action sequences.

Put many action sequences in your book and much romance. Mix the action and the romance. Forget all about description. People can imagine your setting, just get out of their way. Don’t describe things. You’ll have to use adverbs, adjectives and nouns. Keep a tight grip on your keyboard. REIN IT IN. You want to stir up emotions in your audience, not bore them to death with language.

So you should write movies, not books. Movies do not need adverbs, adjectives or nouns. They don’t need large quantities of language. Movies are superior.

There is none.

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