How many of these have given any of you writers out there any trouble, if any at all? The first point I'd like to comment on, as I try to avoid using words that I rarely use, and if I use them at all, I have to be careful not to use them more than once. How many of you have ever used words like "taciturn" or "neophyte," for instance? I didn't use these in my memoir, but it if I had, I would not have repeated them more than once. These just aren't used everyday and would definitely confuse the reader as suggested above.
As for punctuation, there were numerous times in my memoir when I wasn't sure whether to use a comma or dashes to offset a descriptive phrase. For example:
...They acted as if I’d missed the event of the year, when all I missed was one of those movies that—like The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Ten Commandments—comes on TV every single year. ...
As you can see, I used the dashes, but am still not sure if I should have done it that way or if I should have used commas. And I believe this was just one instance when I wasn't sure how to offset a descriptive phrase this way. How do you think it should be done?
I've tried not to sound too overly clever in my writing. I may have a been a bit descriptive (in some people's minds), but it was just to make somethings clear and to describe some settings, such as the playground at the daycare I once attended, and several medical offices I have attended. I describe them to the best f my knowledge, to pit the picture the reader is trying to see. This is one important point in writing.
And I always make sure to have fun with writing. You're supposed to feel that way.