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 I've often noticed while editing: hyphenated words. Sometimes we believe a word needs a hyphen when it doesn't. Or we forget the hyphen when we actually need one. It could also depend on how … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #5

Common writer mistakes #4

#4 — Common misused words We type a 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 look right. It can get more complicated than that. There are long lists of words we think we know, but we don’t. Or we … 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.” Notice how please repeats? It doesn't overdo the dialogue since they're separated out. It feels smooth. On the other hand, I’ve seen writers use the word … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #3

Common writer mistakes #2

#2 — Vagueness for tension A novel I edited recently kept saying him and his death for about twenty pages before actually explaining who he was. Instead of feeling a sense of curiosity, I was confused. I kept wondering who he was and why he mattered. I’ve run across this type of vagueness before. Some … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #2

Common writer mistakes #1

#1 — Using multiple adjectives "The house on the hill was old, broken, and abandoned. I always passed it on my way home. It stared back at me with its empty, death-glaring, sick eyes." Adjectives help, but too many of them back-to-back can weigh down a story. It sounds more like a bumpy ride on … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #1