My Quirky Crusade
A zillion books, articles, and workshops are out there on how to be a better writer. If you put them end to end they’d probably circle the earth.
In the writing of dialogue, there’s a current style these days for authors of mystery and suspense fiction. The standard appears to be the verb “said.” For instance, “I feel miserable,” she said. “My car broke down,” he said.
We’re taught that “said” is a good verb and we should use it—and rarely anything else. And above all, ditch the adverbs! Here are a few examples of adverbs that tell instead of show:
“…she said angrily, spitefully, sweetly, happily, morosely.” Instead of showing: “I’ll never come back,” she shouted.
Elmore Leonard (author of Get Shorty) said something like “Let’s kill all the adverbs.” Lawrence Block wrote a book for writers of fiction, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit. He said that if your characters are good and your dialogue is natural, “let them talk to each other. And stay the hell out of their way.”
The same rule goes for piling on the adjectives. The Maryland Writers’ Association newsletter once had a cartoon of a speaker at a podium in front of a large audience. A sign on the wall behind him read: “Adjectives and Adverbs Anonymous.”
But getting back to the word “said.” I’m launching my own personal crusade to do away with the persistence of it. My point is, the word “said” is boring. Downright booooring! I miss the old-fashioned authors’ extravagant animal sounds, such as: “He barked, he yelped, he bayed, he grunted.” “She snarled, she screeched, she warbled, she bleated.”
Now I ask you: Aren’t those verbs more fun? I intend to indulge in them. But I promise you, I will never write “The horse-faced woman neighed” or “whinnied.” You have my word on that.
Acclaimed novelist Rosemary Mild pulls back the curtain on life, love, loss, and everything in between in her new book, In My Next Life I’ll Get It Right. In this charming, entertaining, and heartfelt collection, Mild dances to her own captivating tune. With a keen eye, wicked wit, and sparkling delivery, she produces a collection of essays ranging from the hilarious to the serious, from the practical to the irreverent. Clever, pitch-perfect, and polished, Mild’s conversational tales are destined to strike a chord with readers.
Mild writes with candor, compassion, and honesty in a voice that brims with humor and wisdom. Her essays run the gamut from gritty observations on everyday life to laughing at her own wishful thinking tempered with tough reality. In My Next Life I'll Get It Right has it all.
No subject escapes the pen of Rosemary Mild—wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. Readers will delight in her Hawaii adventures; “Senior Decade”; brief encounters with the famous; medical mishaps; and her rocky road from blind dates to lasting love. Join her as she takes on sailing, skating, Jazzercise, football, marathons, and more—and come along as Mild lays bare a mother’s heart-wrenching loss. A collection that is at once timeless and timely, In My Next Life I’ll Get It Right is utterly irresistible.
Find out more about the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosemary Mild is an award-winning essayist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Chess Life, and countless other outlets. When not dreaming up outrageous essay ideas, Rosemary Mild and her husband, Larry, wallow in crimes and clues that include their popular Paco and Molly Mysteries; Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries; two Hawaii suspense/thrillers; and three gripping story collections. They have two stories in the 2021 anthology Kissing Frogs and Other Quirky Tales. Rosemary has also authored two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life with My Mother; and Miriam's World—and Mine, in memory of the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Fout out more HERE.