Augusten Burroughs: wannabe stylist

I read “Possible Side Effects” the other day, and was somewhat disappointed. A friend of mine had highly recommended Augusten Burroughs, and I bought the book expecting Burroughs to be another┬áDavid Sedaris, but instead I found a mess. An orderly mess, but a mess nonetheless. Hey, that rhymes.

A typical paragraph is constructed like so: short sentence, short sentence, long sentence, short sentence, sentence fragment, sentence fragment. It’s regular enough to be considered stylistic, but irritating. Most of the fragments are unnecessary, obvious, and reading them feels like stumbling over the prose. A good sentence fragment serves as a verbal punctuation mark. Burroughs’ sentence fragments feel more like a verbal !!!!!!!1!!!!11.

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Fixed #1

In an Air Force base terminal – “flighline.”

Flightline. Fixed.

Tom Clancy by way of Dan Brown… le sigh

A friend of mine is writing a military thriller novel, and it needs a lot of work, to say the least. We’ve already talked about various problems it has, including pacing, transitions, dialogue, jargon, and point of view, but it has enough potential and enough examples to blog about to be worth reading. Red pens notwithstanding.

Stay tuned…

Editor & Publisher… wait, strike the former…

I briefly considered getting a subscription to the trade magazine Editor & Publisher, but three factors weighed against the possibility:

  • The cost. Trade publications are far more expensive than a regular magazine, and twelve issues of E&P weigh in at $99. And a free tote bag!!!
  • The convenience of the local library. Durr.
  • The misspelling of “receive” on the subscription card. Durr!

A Notice From Your Friendly Neighborhood Grammarian

not a lolcat

You are not a lolcat. Remember that when writing your papers, stories, novels, poetry, whatever.