Common writer mistakes #20

#20 — Small, repeating phrases Sometimes, small phrases end up repeating themselves. But if they're shortened, that will tighten up the story's prose. Here are some examples: Climbed up -> Climbed If you climb something, you're usually going up toward the top. So, can drop up and leave climbed by itself. I climbed up the … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #20

Common writer mistakes #19

#19 — Starting sections with pronouns When writing longer works, it's good practice to start each chapter or scene with the character's name instead of their pronoun. For example: Rose saw the fire hissing in the distance. vs She saw the fire hissing in the distance. This is for two reasons. 1) The character(s) referenced … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #19

Common writer mistakes #18

#18 — When to start new paragraphs Deciding where to start a new paragraph is important. Readers can get confused or lost if everything’s all in one. So, I made a list of the top three reasons to start a new one. Who's speaking changes If a different character talks, start a new paragraph. Having … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #18

Common writer mistakes #16

#16 — Misplaced modifiers Misplaced modifiers modify the wrong part of the sentence instead of what they intend to. They are fun to read though because they can sound silly. It makes more sense in practice, so here are some examples: Running away from me, I stumbled after my dog. Running away from me is … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #16

Common writer mistakes #14

#14 — Misusing commas I've done one of these on commas before. I had talked about using commas to continuously add information to a sentence. But I haven't talked about when to use a comma and when not to. Commas are complicated. What tends to get overlooked with them though is independent clauses and dependent … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #14

Common writer mistakes #13

#13 — Dialogue tags vs action beats Dialogue tags can be tricky. But they're easy to understand after knowing the difference between them and action beats. Dialogue tags show who's speaking and how they're speaking. These can include but are not limited to: BeggedExclaimedGrumbledMuttered MumbledSaidScreamedShriekedSnappedWhisperedYelled Dialogue tags are formatted with a comma before the ending … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #13

Common writer mistakes #12

#12 — Not using plain language Recently, I've seen some writers try to up their vocabulary. It feels as if they’re opening a thesaurus and writing the words they find down. Some of these words include specific plant or animal names, scientific words, uncommon verbs, etc. Grackle. Fervent. Reveille. Ostentatious. Imbibes. But it's better to … Continue reading Common writer mistakes #12

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 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