This is the second in a continuing series of writing tips by Mario Lowthar, published short story author. Here is Part I.
With regard to ‘parentheticals’ in writing, Mario says:
Again, the odd one is okay, just don’t overuse. I like to keep mine short:
Sensing that Brant understood, Mario continued.
Honking big clunky ones are right out:
Having said that, and knowing Brant probably understood anyway, but thinking that he might not after all, and wondering if he might be more or less diplomatic and move on to when they never work as opposed to when they do, Mario continued.
I find no real rules for parentheticals, but when I see them in use, they logically follow a progression, one action leading smoothly to another:
Feeling thirsty, I go get a Looney Soup from the fridge.
They don’t bind disparate actions: Drinking my beer, I scratch my balls.
Regardless, I never put more than one every other page. Yann Martel didn’t use a single one in ‘Life of Pi’ (354 pages), and Peter Straub used only one in ‘In the Night Room’ (368 pages). So there must be something to it. Yet they appear stylishly and infrequently throughout my latest copy of Glimmer Train, a pre-eminent American literary magazine.
So there you go, that’s it for now from Mario. 🙂
The art for this article is done by the very talented Mylochka, out of the US. She works a lot in 3D. Check out a lot of her work on her Deviant Art page.