How does Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca sound to you? Tempting, huh? Well, there’s only one problem with that. You’d have to be a writer first. Not necessarily an accomplished one. This is actually a workshop for aspiring writers, managed and organised by Australian-born novelist, poet and editor Jessica Bell – who is also the author of the book I’m happy to introduce.
In her latest Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Subversions of Adverbs & Clichés into Gourmet Imagery, Ms. Bell takes us through thirty-four examples of prose which clearly demonstrate how to turn those pesky adverbs and clichés into vivid and unique imagery. Before you submit your writing for publishing, only to get the same annoying response “too many adverbs, too many clichés”, or “show, don’t tell!” (by the way, Jessica Bell also has a book on that), this book is something you absolutely need to read.
Why? Because it’s simple and concise and matter-of-fact. You’ll find yourself slapping your forehead for how straightforward it all seems, and how strikingly powerful even the simplest of prose can become after you’ve filtered out the inert mass. Not only is this pocket guide an excellent learning tool for aspiring writers, but it is a user-friendly solution to honing your craft no matter how broad your writing experience. Fortunately, it is now available in electronic format. With the convenient hyper-linked Contents Page and Indexes you can toggle backward and forward from different examples with ease. You can use your e-reader’s highlighting and note-taking tools to keep notes as you read, and/or record your story ideas, anywhere, anytime. Don’t just dream of writing, learn how it’s done! And one of these days, it may be you on Ithaca, or in the Provence or any other place under the sun making an actual living from your actual writing – whether fiction, journalism or advertising.
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