I think I’m just in a bad mood today. I should be, I’ve had a bad week. First, there was the election on Tuesday, then last night UNC lost to dook by 1 point. So, my mood is rather dark at this point of the day. It did get a little better when I watched the new Rogue One trailer and remembered that hope is strong. I’ve always believed 1 Corinthians 13:13 was wrong. The greatest of these is not love, it is hope. Without hope love and faith don’t matter.
Anyway, I was in a bad mood when I started looking for an article to write about. Nothing spoke to me in any way. Then I found this article on craft beer pricing. It seemed to have good potential. Here is where my bad mood comes into play. I started reading it and I found a writer who is in love with adjectives and adverbs.
The article does a good job of explaining the how and why of beer pricing specifically in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, however, there are times when a copy editor would have helped. I’m from the Hemingway/Carver/Leonard school of lean writing. Reading this article was interesting because the writer would go through a couple of clear and concise paragraphs and seemingly out of nowhere start throwing in adjectives.
Again, this is a good article. I learned a few things about how other bars and brewery taprooms price out beer. Maybe it is just an internal tick I have or it is the mood I’m in, but the use of adjectives in this piece just irked me.
Why do writers fall back on unnecessary adjectives? Sometimes it is to show how smart they are. Look I know big words. Mostly, though, it is in the mistaken attempt to add color and detail to their work. However, I think it often does the opposite. The best writers write just enough to allow the reader to use his imagination and experience to fill in the details that make the scenes real in their mind.
This is all about personal style of writers. My style tends towards spare. Simple sentences that get out of the reader’s way. I try not to overcomplicate the reader’s life. I want the reader to have an easy time understanding the ideas I’m trying to convey. I think by writing in a short spare manner, when the need for longer more complex sentences arrives, those longer sentences become more powerful via the contrast to the simplicity that came before. (see what I did there)
Thank you for indulging me in this beer-less interlude today. The last two days of trying to find something to write about has been hard. Again, I don’t know if it is the articles I’ve been reading or my mood since the election. I have some reviews I plan to write over the next week or two and a couple of longer essay/commentary type things coming. Until tomorrow.