Writing is hard.
(You can quote me on that.)
You'd think someone could have clued me in to that before I, you know, tried to, like, do it.
Oh, I'm not talking the physical act of putting pen to paper. I got that part down years ago. (I might even still remember how.)
And I'm not even talking about the commitment of energy and time--sometimes years--that go into crafting a story. If writing is a passion, these costs are negligible. (At least until the divorce papers are signed.)
No, the most difficult thing about writing is...dealing with other writers.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love writers. Heck, I can't seem to open my front door without tripping over some far better than I. (Or is it 'better than me'? I always get those confused.)
The writers I'm referring to are the ones who frequent critique boards and writers' forums and rant about words like "it".
"It" is passive.
"It" is non-specific.
"It" makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spork and pour salt in the festering wounds.
Yowza. Is "it" really so bad?
"It" seems to me like "it" has a fairly useful place in literary lexicon. After all, Dickens didn't say "12:45 was the best of times, 12:45 was the worst of times..."
Alas, new writers are often inundated with these types of opinions, and though many are helpful in terms of tightening prose (I'm lookin' at you, "that"!), there seems to be a widespread movement of word genocide taking place.
"And" is evil.
"There" is the devil.
"Was" is obscenely pornographic.
What's next? "The" boils rabbits alive?
I guess my point is, it's not those words alone that make a story unreadable. The world's worst writer can remove every evil, passive, non-specific, bunny-boiling word from their work, and it still wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on. Conversely, a great one can write in nothing but adverbs, and still be praised for their genius.
At least, that's what I'm hoping. I really truly am.