Yakking 'N Yams

Friday, April 29, 2011

I’ve been sidetracked today so here goes with the Y. Only Z's left to squeeze out and then I can take a breather. This post has to do with long-windedness in writing.

Apart from a shaggy-haired wild ox, to yak is to talk endlessly. All writers should avoid wordiness. Being concise in our writing is a good yardstick against which to measure our skills. A yarn in which characters yap non-stop may make readers yelp with excitement or send hearts galloping for want of a break.

Conversely, making readers yawn through your narrative is to be avoided as much as having them yawp in disbelief at the actions of your characters. A year and a day spent zig-zagging through the plot will give them a yen to sample another book. Readers will also yammer to their friends about your novel taking them way over yonder and back (for no good reason).

A few rounds of editing will yield fluent prose that will wow readers into saying a resounding ‘Yes!’ at the thought of reading another of your tight yarns.

Yippee! All done!

Yellow Yam
Yam Vines
There are many varies of Yam grown in Jamaica and each has its own name. A sampling would include the popular Yellow Yam, Renta and St. Vincent.  I believe that in America, a sweet potato is described as a yam. However, yam as West Indians know it is a starchy tuber that grows on a climbing plant. Farmers use stakes for the yam vines. (See picture above). Yams are eaten with other starchy foods like dumplings, green bananas and sweet potatoes.


  1. Ha ha ha. You cracked me up with this post. :-)

  2. Writers certainly can yammer on and on! Good thing we're well-practiced in editing and revising. :)

  3. Let first convey my heartfelt thanks for visiting my blog and following.

    What a Y-post. I learned many y-words and their description.

  4. Very clever post! I enjoyed reading it, great job. :)

  5. Thanks for stopping in guys, appreciate your comments. Have a great weekend.

  6. It's true everything we call yams are really sweet potatoes here.

    So, when I read your post title I missed a letter and read Yakking Yams.

    Yakking (here) is a euphemism for vomiting. So I had an an stage image flash though my head.

  7. Great post today. I'm in the editing process and trying to keep my story concise.
    Cool to learn about Yams too.

  8. Holly, the differences in the way we use words according to regions never ceases to amaze me. :)

    Thanks, Carrie.

  9. Yam looks Yum.

    And your blog looks fun.

    Nearly there - just Z to go :)

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  10. Wow I love all the y's you used. You are so creative and talented. Great job and a good tip.

  11. Yak. Yak. Yak. Love it. Glad you did not suggest a roast yak dish. I love yams. I have enjoyed so much reading your blog during the A-Z.

  12. Thanks, Charmaine,

    Trying to get Z done tonight so tomorrow's a holiday. Kinda.

    Josh, I get crazy like that sometimes. Thanks!

    Jeanne, thanks. Glad I found you!

  13. Oh my goodness, I can't stand reading loooong conversations, sometimes I just skip to the end!

  14. My newspaper editor used to always tell us to write "tight & bright."

    Sometimes I tend to go off on a bunny trail, but I can count on my writer friends at critique to get me back on track. :-)

  15. I know, Missy. Then can get exhausting.

    W2W, critique partners are the best.


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