But it's 2018, now. And I'm trying to build off the successes that I have fought for, and brush off the dust of my failures, in order to move ahead and achieve more success. As I look back on my literary journey in 2017, I have come up with 4 New Year's Resolutions for 2018. Here they are.
I resolve to:
1. Show and not tell. My most recent post is all about the tendency, especially of new writers, to give a list of events in a story, rather than show, through a description of characters' thoughts, actions, reactions, etc. I'm going to stop telling you what "Bob" felt, and show you by the way he licks his lips and averts his eyes when he's lying, or the way his left hand twitches when he's on the verge of violence, or he grins sheepishly when confronted with the empty bag of Fritos lying half out of the overflowing garbage can.
2. Give passive voice a pass. Nothing washes out your prose more than passive voice. It's Show, not tell's ugly little sister. Never "The car was stolen by Bob," when you can "Bob stole the car." Unless you're a journalist, that's just plain wrong.
3. Phase adverbs out of my writing. Gently. Look, if you've been writing for any length of time, you know that adverbs are to writing as food after midnight is to gremlins. They're just going to wreck your stuff. That being said, there are exceptions to every rule, particularly the one that says never to use adverbs. My advice? As with everything else in life: "All things in moderation."
4. Write more. The bottom line of this resolution is ass in seat. No matter how good a writer you are, if you aren't putting in work, you might as well invest your time in a more profitable hobby. Like day trading. Life gets in the way, sometimes. Happens to me. It's going to happen to you. The only thing you can do is try to make use of the moments you have. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. TV. Parties. Sleep. Do what you gotta do, man.
Just get it done. And, oh, yeah...Happy New Year!