Pitfalls of Writing SF & Fantasy #2: It’s Almost Writing, or, Half-Baked Weasels

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McIntyre’s First Law:

Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you could be wrong.

Pitfall #2: It’s Almost Writing, or, Half Baked Weasels

Almost and half (half-smile, &c.) are weasel words that allow you to evade the responsibility of being precise. Their use will drain the life from your prose. “Some kind of” has recently joined the infamous company of weasel words. If you’re tempted to use this phrase, ask yourself what meaning it conveys. That the writer has no idea what’s going on? That the writer knows but isn’t going to bother to tell the reader? It carries no information. Why use it? Some writers litter their pages with these words and phrases to no purpose. Beware!

— Vonda


I blog here every Sunday, and irregularly otherwise as the spirit takes me.

My novel Dreamsnake is now available at Book View Cafe, serialized by the chapter on Sundays. You may buy the complete ebook for $4.99. (Current formats: Mobipocket/Palm, html, PDF).

You can also find The Moon and the Sun at Book View Cafe, where a new chapter is featured each week. For print copies of The Moon and the Sun and my other SF novels, visit my website’s Basement Full of Books.

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