Nearly all bloggers are interested in improving their writing. You can find an interesting post about criticism and editing — and how bloggers respond to same — by Michelle at “The Green Study.”
Which calls to mind a Baltimore Sun blog, “You Don’t Say,” by John McIntyre, a curmudgeon and drudge, as well as a longtime Sun copy desk chief. If you’re interested in language and editing, you could do worse than to follow his blog. It’s always informative and sometimes amusing.
I once worked for the man (longest six years of my life). He’s the most demanding editor I encountered in many years of reporting, writing, and (mostly) editing. He’s a master editor — not a writer’s editor, but an editor’s editor. If he has one fault, it is an overly sensitive nose for what he calls the “stinking cliché.”
He probably would not tolerate the headline I wrote for this post.
(I wouldn’t call my working years a “career,” exactly. Or if it was a career, it was a mismanaged and jerky career. Talk about your long and winding roads. By the way, I agree with all editors that clichés are to be avoided. Nonetheless, clichés have their place in the language. Some clichés communicate a specific meaning that is not well-served by substitution, and a few clichés communicate truth that defies faithful translation. Like it or not.)
Mr. King’s advice is to avoid adverbs. I believe Mr. McIntyre and Michelle would concur.
In conclusion: Eschew obfuscation. Avoid “never” and “always.” And remember, never use the word “very;” always strike it.
And that’s all I have to say about writing and editing.
— John Hayden
- How to Edit Your Blog Posts Like a Pro: 8 Top Bloggers Share Their Tips (blogworld.com)
- Peer Editing (rgiroux01.wordpress.com)
- ‘I’m sorry, Mr Shakespeare, you’ve failed your Key Stage 2 grammar test’ (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- One Man’s Cliche is Another Man’s Entertainment (readfulthingsblog.com)
- I Wish I Was Kidding (knittingskeet.wordpress.com)