I often wonder what it is that has made my wife and I so maligned by so many so often.
Not that it matters. We’ve gotten by fine thus far, and without putting too fine a point on it, those who’ve maligned us aren’t missed. If they don’t like us, they don’t like us, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
It happened to me about four months ago — just under. Someone who I thought was a “friend” got her panties in a knot over something really stupid, IMHO, and proceeded to rail against me. It took me by surprise, shocked me a little, but when the dust all settled, she cut herself out of my life, and by all appearances, is not interested in reconciling at all. In her twisted neuro-network, she thinks she’s been injured somehow and I’m to blame. The evidence speaks for itself, and no one that’s viewed it agrees with her. What’re you gonna do, though? So she’s gone, I don’t miss her, and I’m not going to worry about it. I never did.
Well, for some reason, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and help younger, less experienced, or aspiring writers improve their craft. I’m always interested in getting better at it, and I assume (there’s a dangerous word) others are too, so I decided to glean some information from the Internet and gather some resources for others, share it on my deviantART page, and with any luck, those reading it will become stronger for the effort I took. And it was effort; maybe not a herculean one, but an effort just the same. I gathered the information from various web sites and put it all together in a digestible, easy-to-read and (hopefully) amusing format.
Most people found them helpful. Some more helpful than others, of course; no two writers are in exactly the same place of growth. For example, my article on use of ellipses and em dashes was a smash hit. While the follow-up article, on use of “Lay” vs. “Lie”, and its various forms, was popular, but not the huge hit the first one was. Not as many people are confused (or realize they’re confused) about it as I thought, so it didn’t get as much attention. And my last piece, a broad, non-specific overview of POV, isn’t anywhere near as popular as the other two.
Based on the reaction it received on my own page, my article on adverbs in fiction is going to be a flop.
Most writers on this particular web site don’t see “the problem” with adverbs. It’s also probably safe to say most of them are under 21, many under 18, and most if not all of those who fall into the aforementioned category have no clue what it is to write adult-oriented, publishing-polished prose. I had to learn this the hard and painful way, and it took me a while to realize I could do it, but 2008 and has been the year of writing growth for me. I’ve worked hard to improve my craft, and I’ve worked hard to learn to eliminate adverbs — those ending in “ly” at least — from my prose.
So far, so good.
But when I put that li’l article on my journal page, I got a reaction I didn’t know it would get, and it came from an unexpected source.
I knew some of the writers I “follow” (meaning, they “friended” me, I “friended” them, and theoretically, we read each other’s work; pragmatically, we’re notified of one another’s work) were going to be … hm … let’s use the word resistant … to the idea of eliminating adverbs. I’ve been called everything from “Adverb Natzi” [sic] to “Adverb Hater”. I kept waiting for the Seinfeldian “Anti-Adverbite” reference, but they’re probably too young to remember Seinfeld anyway. I had no idea, though, that some of them would be so desperate in their resistance to the idea that they’d resort to making it about gender and genre in an attempt to excuse using them in prose!