I’ve been swinging into gear for class on September 13, 2006. I’ve got a whole mess of warm-up exercises and prompts to write. (I can hear group members groaning at the idea.) Here’s one to get everyone in the spirit:
Which adverbs/adjectives would you delete and which would you keep?
The aging blonde basketball player stoically wrapped his aching arthritic knees, waiting patiently for some unsuspecting young man to stumble unknowingly upon his empty court. The gray-haired man wasn’t waiting simply for a pick-up game; he needed to quickly hustle some cash before the pawn shop closed. The macho twenty-something know-nothings who hung out on these courts had never heard of Willie Denton, the decaying, broken-down former legend of the NBA’s nascent early days.
If this paragraph doesn’t feel as heavy as a fruitcake to you, then I don’t know what to tell you. Start slicing out the modifiers and see if you can lighten its load.
Books we’ll be reading and discussing during this session:
Stephen King - On Writing
Lynne Truss - Eats, Shoots, and Leaves
Natalie Goldberg - Writing Down the Bones
Anne Lamott - Bird by Bird
William Zinsser - On Writing Well
Strunk and White - The Elements of Style