Common writer mistakes #10

#10 — Adding too many details with 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 … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #10

Common writer mistakes #9

#9 — Overusing character names Lately, I've seen a few writers overuse character names. They would use a name almost every chance they could. Here's a fictional example: John walked over to Laurencia with the biggest smile on his face. He turned with his back away from Laurencia, careful not to let Laurencia see the … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #9

Common writer mistakes #8

#8 — The Words Feel and Felt No matter what POV you write in, you’re going to come across the words feel or felt at some point. When I edit novels or when I edit my own work, I find a lot of feels and felts. These words are sometimes glossed over without realizing the potential that could be brought to your … 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 toward 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 the story to describe something in the middle of the chapter. As a writer myself, … 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 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