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5 Mistakes Writers Make

1. Wasted Words

I consider myself a terse writer, but even I catch myself using too many words. It’s easy to get into the habit of worrying about word-count, but you have to realize you have plenty to say.

There is no need to over explain a scene. Or worse, riddle your writing with adverbs. Gross. More often than not it’s better to leave the creation of the scene to the mind of the reader. A little bit of description goes a long way.

2. Not Enough Voice

Every writer has their own style, their own way of writing. It’s important to find yours. The only way you can do this is by writing and experimenting. So write, write, and write some more!

3. Lack of Conflict

Are you characters happy? They shouldn’t be! There should be conflict. Something always needs to be happening to your characters. Bring your story to life, release the conflict!

4. Show Versus Tell

Passive voice. Adverbs

When you tell rather than show, you simply inform your reader of information rather than allowing him to deduce anything.

You’re supplying information by simply stating it. You might report that a character is “tall,” or “angry,” or “cold,” or “tired.”

That’s telling.

Showing would paint a picture the reader could see in her mind’s eye.

If your character is tall, your reader can deduce that because you mention others looking up when they talk with him. Or he has to duck to get through a door. Or when posing for a photo, he has to bend his knees to keep his head in proximity of others.

5. Characters Who Lack Purpose

You like to be bored. I like to be bored. Flipping through TV channels and finding nothing to watch. Wandering around the house aimlessly. Surfing the web with no purpose! That’s what I live for! Wait. No. That’s not right. That’s all backwards.

If something bores you in real life it’s going to be infinitely more boring in your writing. Scenes in which our characters wander and putter about will have your readers scratching and smacking their heads in boredom. If the character seems pointless, they shouldn’t be in your writing.

Until next time, write on!

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