I don’t feel good today. Woke up with a cold. I hate summer colds. They make me write short sentences. So don’t expect much.
In my spare time I’m noodling around with a piece of fiction that requires me to channel the writing voice of one of my characters. The character is a blowhard, and crafting a distinct voice for him is harder than I thought it would be. If only I could get the Allen County GOP chairman to write more guest columns for the Fort Wayne newspapers; they’re textbook lessons in blowhard-y prose:
It’s time to put an end to the wave of speculation and rumors surrounding the Fort Wayne mayoral campaign. The Allen County GOP stands steadfastly and whole-heartedly behind our candidate for mayor, Matt Kelty. We will work diligently to spread his message and to make him the next leader of our city.
All political parties at some point suffer from a schism caused by a primary in which two or more qualified candidates seek the nomination. This obviously leaves some of the party’s members with bruised feelings. I deeply respect people who have yet to come on board; however, they should realize that the train on the track to victory has left the station. I am very hopeful that these individuals will be waiting at the next stop as the Kelty train heads toward the November election.
The chairman is a lawyer, and lawyers tend to talk — and write — as though they’re paid by the word, with a $100 bonus for every adverb they can sneak in:
Kelty is a man of integrity and character whose message deserves more attention than it gets. Too much has been said about the primary election and who had his or her picture taken with whom. Conspiracy theorists have speculated about supposed smoky backroom deals; these accusations are entirely false and reflect unfamiliarity with the primary election process.
Never use one complimentary adjective when you can use two; never use a simple and unshaded word (“false”) without an unnecessary modifier (“entirely”).
Can’t forget those passive-voice hoedowns:
With the Republican and Democratic candidates having been selected, the county parties now become involved. I have arranged with Republican Party stalwarts meetings where we have fostered camaraderie between the party and the 2007 GOP slate, headed by Kelty, and I’ve asked entrepreneur extraordinaire Don Willis to set up focus groups between Kelty and influential members of the party.
I could go on, but you amateur editors out there have the links and can make merry all you want. Writing is hard, and not everyone has a knack for it. It’s as much in the ear as anywhere else, and you either hear the music or you don’t. Miles Davis knew which notes not to play. If only everyone could write like “Kind of Blue.” The chairman should listen to “So What” and try again.
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” — Stephen King.
Awk. Back to bed.