REVIEW: Re: Bride of C'thulhu #666 -- A Chaotic Add-On Story

Alaric alaricmc at
Mon Jun 7 16:13:33 PDT 2004

"Martin Phipps" <phippsmartin at> wrote in message
news:df8f4cb4.0406070449.7eb95abd at
> "Alaric" <alaricmc at> wrote in message
> news:<c9r4ms$db6$1 at>...
> > Blasted? Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhh. And cut the adverbs. ALWAYS cut the
> While I agree with you with regards to Jesse's said avoidance, I see
> nothing wrong with "blasted" here in and of itself although one might
> argue "blasted defiantly" might is redundant.  "said defiantly" is
> okay.  You'll note that in scripts for stage, screen and television,
> actors will be given adverbs to instruct them how to read the lines.
> You CAN'T always tell HOW something is supposed to be read just simply
> by the words that are said.  I could say "Really?" incredulously or
> sarcasticly and the meaning would be very different.
> Martin

Not something we're going to agree on, I suspect, Martin. I've gone from
being quite open in these areas to a bit of a Fascist, and I think it's
because the more fiction I read, the more authorial manipulation stands
out - sorry, I don't mean manipulation in a bad way - I mean as a tool. And
that's what said avoidance and adverbs come down to - manipulation. It's the
author taking shortcuts. I'm aware that all of this stuff is the big writing
tip these days - King goes through his work to cut out adverbs, publishers
scream and set fire to manuscripts if they find them - and there's a whiff
of a language witch hunt about it all - but I do feel the dislike honestly,
not because I'm supposed to. An adverb or a said replacement shouldn't be
needed if the writer has set up a situation or dialogue up with care. Tone
of voice will be obvious to the reader from what precedes. Whereas an adverb
or a said avoider takes FROM the plot. It screams, "Look at me, look at me",
and the reader does. And when he does, the disguise of the fiction falls
away, and the author's controlling hand can be seen. You can't afford to
give your reader an rxcuse to look away.

My view, an' that's all.

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