the sidebar was missing!
I scrolled to the bottom of the page and there it was, beneath the posts. And I couldn't figure out how to get it back to where it was supposed to be.
Thankfully, I've been following The Real Blogger Status for a while now, so I clicked over to the blog to see if I could find out how to fix it.
I came across this post, which advised changing the most recent thing you'd done. Well, that was publishing my "N" post. So I saved it as a draft and republished it, and voila! the sidebar reappeared!
If you haven't already done so, I advise you to go visit that blog.
And now on to our regularly scheduled A-to-Z post
Question: Am I being ostentatious by using the word "ostentatious" to describe prose?
|Don't write the way this bird looks.|
What does "ostentatious" mean? It means showy, or to do something in order to show off, or to be conspicuous or pretentious.
Yeah, saying "ostentatious prose" rather than "flowery prose" does sound a little pretentious.
But hey, you all know the real reason I'm using the word "ostentatious." Because I already did a post for "F". And besides, "ostentatious" is such a fun word to say.
However, ostentatious prose is not very fun to read.
One of the most common bits of advice I hear for writers is "get yourself out of the picture."
In other words, you want the reader to forget about you as a writer. Don't let them even remember that you're there. You want them to forget that they're reading something written by you and just be engrossed in the story.
That doesn't mean you don't have a voice. It means that while they're reading the story they don't hear you in their heads reminding them every ten seconds "I wrote this I wrote this I wrote this! Aren't I such a good writer??"
When I sleepily open my stunning blue eyes to blearily glance at the rumpled, cream-colored sheets on the opposite side of the bed, not only is it inexplicably vacant, but it is also as chilly as an icicle in the far-flung reaches of the frozen north.To this:
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.The first example is so overloaded with adjectives and similes that it makes the story drag, and is very stuffy and annoying. The second example (the opening line from The Hunger Games) is crisp, clear, and to the point. We are placed inside the main character's head, and inside the story, without any unnecessary fuss or detail.
So, in summation, my dear devoted readers, whenever the dreadful time comes when you are sorely tempted by the vile devils of ostentatiousness, it is much advised that you, oh peerless perusers, swiftly flee the terrible clutches of its ostentatious claws of grim death.
In other news:
Feel like giving out story prompts today? Two of the A-to-Z participants that I'm following are basing their themes around prompts given by readers.
Jessica Salyer at Just Following a Dream presents a word each day that readers must use in a sentence that will then be included in an ongoing story. You have until 10 PM CST tonight to enter a sentence that includes the word "omnipotent."
Jessica Marcarelli at Visions of Other Worlds is having a Saturday flash fiction challenge. Go leave her a comment with a prompt that starts with the letter "S"!
Have you ever had trouble with a disappearing sidebar?
Do you have a problem with writing ostentatious prose, or does clean prose come naturally for you? Is there any specific bit of ostentatiousness that habitually annoys you?
Let me know by commenting!