Her question was an easy one for me to answer, but only because of the recent critique I received from Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse, who opened my eyes and changed how I write. My answer to Stephanie? Here is my response, copied from her comments page.
With the help of a wonderful critique I won recently, I've realized that I *hangs head shamefully* am an adverbaholic. Yes, it's true. I tend to overindulge in the tempting cop-out of adverbs, causing me to tell more than I should and show less than I must. So sad. I have checked myself into treatment with my first critique group (thank you, Valerie and Bethany) and am hoping for a full recovery.I tried to address it with humor, but it's not funny at all. I am not alone, though, which makes me feel a little better. William Zinsser, in On Writing Well, says:
The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb which carries the same meaning that is already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what - these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence.His answer? Simplify, simplify. I have returned to Zinsser to improve my chances for a full adverbaholic recovery (and other issues found above), but I have learned that we don't see things in our own writing that we could point out in only a heartbeat in someone else's. My answer, then, is to enlist the eyes of others (like Valerie and bethany!).
I know that most of you have a critique group or partners already, but if not, you are missing a valuable opportunity to become better at your craft. Check out yesterday's post at Chatterbox Chit Chat. Lynnette's post shares info about Writers on Writing, a networking opportunity designed to support writer's on their journey.
How do you tackle your biggest writing issues?