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

Martin Phipps phippsmartin at
Tue Jun 8 17:39:09 PDT 2004

"Alaric" <alaricmc at> wrote in message
news:<ca2sn4$n8h$7 at>...
> "Martin Phipps" <phippsmartin at> wrote in message
> news:df8f4cb4.0406070449.7eb95abd at
> > "Alaric" <alaricmc at> wrote in message
> > news:<c9r4ms$db6$1 at>...
> >
> > > Blasted? Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhh. And cut the adverbs. ALWAYS cut the
>  adverbs.
> >
> > 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
> 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 excuse to look away.

Okay, so Stephen King tries to avoid adverbs.  Adverb avoidance. :) 
Then he'll have to go back and change what he wrote to make it clear
what is being meant just simply from the words that are used or,
alternatively, by establishing a person's mood in advance or by
describing facial expressions - whatever would be necessary to make it
clear how something was being said.  What comes out could then seem
artificial because, in real life, we rely a lot on tone of voice and
intonation to tell us what somebody really means.  So then he'd have
to go over his work again.  I guess it takes a lot of manipulation to
avoid the appearance of manipulation. :)

Personally, I think using "said" all the time is boring.  If there are
only two people speaking then it will be obvious who said what in a
conversation so you could drop your saids altogether.  I did tell
Jesse one time by e-mail that he was using "replied" to much, that you
should only use "reply" when the speaker is actually answering a
question.  To be honest, I hadn't noticed that he was avoiding "said"
this time so obviously it wasn't bothering me.


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