Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said” What’s this, you say? Avoiding “said” is one of the most common writing mistakes? How can that be? Surely writers overuse this ubiquitous little word more often than not, don’t they? As a matter of fact: nope. Indeed, trying to avoid this hard-working little speaker-attribution tag can, in most instances, lead … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 45: Avoiding “Said

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases (Over $500.00 in Cyber Monday bonuses)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases Rushing to her computer, Katie tries not to spill her coffee. She is late to write a very important forty-fourth installment in the “Most Common Writing Mistakes” series. She looks for her coaster, rooting through her desk drawers. Finally, relieved by the protection of the precious particle board … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 44: Too Many Participle Phrases (Over $500.00 in Cyber Monday bonuses)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 43: Too Many Exclamation Points!( Your $400.00 Blackfriday gift is waiting…)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 43: Too Many Exclamation Points! Exclamation points! Woohoo! Yeehaw! Is there any punctuation mark that could possibly be more fun for writers to use? (Okay, so there isthe interrobang, but that’s still kinda the same difference.) Exclamation points are there to help us express our big emotions: excitement, joy, anger, passion. Naturally, we … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 43: Too Many Exclamation Points!( Your $400.00 Blackfriday gift is waiting…)

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough There are two different ways you can blow your story stakes–and both of them have the ability to ruin your book. Before we dig into the pitfalls, let’s take a moment to consider just what story stakes are. What Are Story Stakes? Your character’s stake … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts These, days, writers have to be clever. There are so many guidelines we need to observe in order to make our plots, characters, and narratives as vibrant and powerful as possible. As this series on most common writing mistakes attests, there are so many things … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 40: Unnecessary Scenes

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 40: Unnecessary Scenes What is a story but scenes? Put one scene after another–and you have a story! Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. Those scenes have to hang together in a way that makes sense. They have to create a contiguous arc. Every one of those scenes needs … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 40: Unnecessary Scenes

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings Is there anything more fun, more bittersweet, and more challenging than book endings? Arguably, nothing matters more for ensuring reader satisfaction than the ending of a book. As such, few parts of your story are going to be more important to get right. But naturally, the room … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 38: Irrelevant Book Endings

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 37: Unnecessary Filler

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 37: Unnecessary Filler “Brevity is the soul of wit.” However, creating that quality of brevity isn’t so much about writing short as it is about making every word count. As we continue to discuss the most common writing mistakes, we’d be remiss to leave out the all-too-prevalent faux pas of unnecessary … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 37: Unnecessary Filler

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 36: Too Much Introspection, Not Enough Interaction

  Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 36: Too Much Introspection, Not Enough Interaction The best character development is often found in the heart of his personal narrative: his introspective observations and reactions to the events of the story. As I’ve preached many a time, if a character’s not reacting to what’s happening in your story, then what’s … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 36: Too Much Introspection, Not Enough Interaction

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 34: Repetitive Dialogue

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 34: Repetitive Dialogue Forget all the other writing rules, but always remember this one: The reader’s time is valuable. Readers don’t want to listen to us or our characters repeat ourselves—especially in repetitive dialogue. It’s surprising how easily repetitive dialogue can sneak into our writing. Half the time we’re so … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 34: Repetitive Dialogue