There are few lessons I’ve learned as a writer that I’m more grateful for than when Leta here took me in hand when I first started writing slash and taught me the proper use (or rather lack thereof) of epithets.
I’ve tried to do my part; the subject was going around once on Tumblr and I passed the lesson on, and at least one of my mutuals commented that they found the explanation I provided made a lot of sense and clarified the issue for them for the first time.
Recently, I was reading a book from a popular series by an author is who quite well-known in the genre, and the POV character was using epithets to REFER TO HIMSELF. Like: “The tall man drew the short man in for a kiss…” where the POV character is “the short man.” I cringed so hard.
So yes, please take note and follow this advice!
I DNFed two books this week because I couldn’t deal with the authors’ wild overuse of epithets. One was self-published and the other was published by a press, so this isn’t just a self-pub thing. Authors, beta readers, editors, please, for the love of all that is holy, understand that epithets are unnecessary about 99% of the time. Every single time you use one, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” I promise that the answer is nearly always no.
I googled looking for an explanation so that I wouldn’t have to actually write up everything myself. I found one on Tumblr that I’ll share here. Yes, it’s about fan fiction, but, dudes, this applies to all writing. Published work is actually expected to be held to a higher standard than fanfic most of the time, am I right?
GO READ THE ENTIRE POST but I am going to just cut and paste in…
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