Sunday, May 15, 2016

Girl Talk

I'm deep into revisions of my novel and recently when I've needed to talk breaks I'm immersing myself into reading agent blogs and query sites and the ilk. And I read a wonderful nugget of observation by Janet Reid, super-agent.

She said women talk in qualifiers and write that way too.

I don't know but...
I think maybe...
It's my opinion that...

We don't want to offend. We speak softly and carry no stick. We're apologetic for having a voice.

So yesterday I went through my ms. and tried to take out all the qualifiers I could find. And there were a lot.

The funny thing is that the one making all those qualifying statements was the freaking devil of all things. Somehow I don't think she would be apologetic for her opinions.

Better writing. Better speaking. Less apologizing.


  1. Yes but...have you noticed that experts are always telling us not to use traditionally female ways of communicating? I can understand needing to understand how to use traditional "man-speak" in one's work to get ahead, but that doesn't make that the only or even the best way to communicate...just the dominant way. (From an old fart lurker :-)

  2. Statch, I'm trying to decide if I agree or not. I see your point but I wonder if our girl-speak is too disadvantageous.

  3. I can't see a downside to being more assertive--waiting for people to reward us for being demurely modest (in the sense of not bragging about what we do, etc) has never led anyone to success.

    However, let us not forget that women who are assertive tend to be labelled bitchy, ball busting, shrill, etc.