Common writer mistakes #11

#11 — Different types of dashes In writing, there are three main dashes you come across: a hyphen (-), an en dash (–), and an em dash (—). I've seen writers confuse them all the time. However, these are easy fixes. It's all about understanding the difference between them. A hyphen (-) is the most … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #11

Common writer mistakes #10

#10 — Adding too many commas Lately, I've had a few authors use commas to add detail after detail onto a sentence. But they don't realize how jam-packed the sentence becomes. Here are two fictional examples: Laurence came through the door, looking for answers, looking for something to turn his path around, and looking for … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #10

Common writer mistakes #8

#8 — The Words "Felt" and "Feel" No matter what POV you write in, you're going to come across the word felt or feel at some point. These words are sometimes glossed over without realizing the potential that could be brought to the story if you write without them. Let me give an example. "He … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #8

Common writer mistakes #7

#7 — Not Developing Characters I'm sure we've all come across a character in a book who we didn't feel anything towards much. We weren't worried for the character's well-being. Which doesn't help us want to continue reading. It can take many drafts to get into a character's head and develop them on the page. … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #7

Common writer mistakes #6

#6 — Unnecessary details The plot is coming along. We're getting to an important moment — but wait! I forgot to mention something. Let me write it down, because it's important. But now the reader is wondering why I stopped to describe something in the middle of the chapter. As a writer myself, I get … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #6

Common writer mistakes #5

#5 — Misusing hyphens Besides the gray with an a vs grey with an e battle, there's one common spelling error that I've noticed while editing: hyphens. Sometimes writers believe the word needs a hyphen when it doesn't. Or they forget the hyphen when they actually need one. It could depend on how the writer … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #5

Common writer mistakes #4

#4 — Common misused words We type a single word. It's spelled correctly. Microsoft Word isn't flagging it either. It sounds right too! But I love that Disney fairy tail doesn't quite sound right. It can get more complicated than that. There are long lists of words that we think we know but we don't. … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #4

Common writer mistakes #3

#3 — Repeating words for emphasis In some cases, repeating words helps. "Please, Elie," I begged. "You have to do this. You know how much it means to me. Please." See how the please is repeated? It didn't seem to overdo the dialogue, because it was separated out by two full sentences. It felt smooth, … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #3

Common writer mistakes #2

#2 — Vagueness for tension I wanted to talk about vagueness today. A novel I edited kept saying "him" and "his death" for twenty or so pages before actually explaining who he was. Instead of feeling a sense of curiosity, I felt more confused. I kept wondering who he was and why he mattered. I've … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #2

Common writer mistakes #1

Common Writer Mistakes is a new series I'm starting where I talk through some common mistakes that I see writers (even myself) make. It may not be one that you specifically do, but this is more to make you aware of them. If you have any ideas of how to avoid some that I didn't … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #1