I honestly use a lot of clichés in my everyday speech, so it can be hard sometimes to not use them in my writing. While I do well in avoiding most clichés in writing, I still leave a few of them in there. I do agree, that some clichés are annoying and need to die, but I don’t find all of them to be bad. Knight notes how important it is to have original ideas and to put thought into your own writing. He also warns to not use over complicated vocabulary as to not lose your readers and so anyone of the general public can read what you have written. If I have to have a dictionary at hand in order to understand what someone has written, it’s not worth reading and ruins the flow of the story.
Filak’s chapter 4 I felt as if it was basic information we have already covered, probably due to the fact that we are reading these chapters out of order. He encourages to be descriptive in your writing but cautions not to be too descriptive as to not sound repetitive. He gives an example of a basic outline for a writing an engaging story, which I found as a refresher. A Nut Graph is a new term for me which is basically the part of the story which tells why the story is important and gives any important information while still keeping the story interesting. Overall, it was an okay read. Not my favorite.
I got more than a sense of deja vu from rereading these chapters. It was a much needed refresher on the importance of clarity. I could edit my writing over and over, whittling down unnecessarily long sentences. Perhaps the more conscious I can be as I write, the less time I will have to spend re-writing.
More often, I choose not to edit. The slow edit is a reminder I needed. I can quickly get my ideas on paper, then go back and take a hard look at whether I have expressed them in the clearest way possible.
Grammar always has weird surprises. Take the example at the bottom of page 51, for instance: “The boys track team.” That’s correct? I would have put an apostrophe on the end of boys without a second thought, and it would have survived every subsequent, oblivious edit. I highlighted this last semester, so that perhaps I would remember; hopefully this time, since I am writing about it here, it will stick.
Editing is not solely about picking apart our writing. It is also about the big picture, as Shay Quillen offers in his One Last Thing. Has the piece accomplished what it set out to do? That question is even more important than one of sentence structure and misplaced modifiers.
The chapters we revisit here remind us what we are doing, and how we do it. If we have important things to say, it is important that we say them well.