Bad Writing Habits You Mustn’t Fall Into!
While I know that all writers have their own style and habits and writing is fairly subjective, there are some bad habits out there. The only way to break them is to suddenly become aware of them! These habits are often the tell-tale sign of an amateur writer. They are little but distracting as hell and make your work frustrating to read. So, without further ado, here they are:
- Too much in bold. Bold type is pretty rare to see in novels and works incredibly well when placed well. It’s used effectively in The Book Thief. But other than that, I’ve seen some bad use of bold type. Once so bad, I tried to see if the words made up a secret message or something, but no. It was just incredibly distracting bold print meant to emphasize certain words.
- Too much in italics. Words are usually italicized for the same reason they are bolded - for emphasis. Too many words that are in italics on a page is incredibly distracting. Every time the reader comes across an italicized word, they must slow down the pace of their reading to understand the emphasis. It’s like a speed bump when reading. Treat it like that. No one likes to drive on roads with a ton of speed bumps.
- One ellipsis (…) is too many. When I see a page with more than one ellipsis, I cringe just a little. This is the poster child of bad writing habits! If italics and bolded type are speed bumps, then an ellipsis is a stoplight. More often than not, it’s a lazy stoplight too where the writer didn’t even finish their train of thought for that sentence. These can be used well, don’t get me wrong. But they are most often abused by young writers trying to be “thoughtful” or “serious.” My tip for you on these is do not use them unless absolutely necessary. Like maybe use it twice in 80,000 words. It’s mostly not needed.
- Caps always = shouting. This is a mistake if I ever saw one. Caps is shouting, yes, but use it sparingly. Consider the different degrees of loud sounds. If it’s just above indoor voice, it doesn’t need to be in all caps, you can just say “he shouted” or even just by context and character reaction, the reader might understand the tone. Caps is more like bloody murder, going-to-die-painfully kind of voice. It is uncomfortable to read in all caps and naturally pushes the reader into the defensive. To use it effectively can make your work really come alive.
- “Said is dead.” Said is not dead. When you use every different kind of dialogue tag, such as “investigated,” “whispered,” “yelped,” it slows down the action of the story with information the reader should be able to pick up on from the context of the story. When you just use “said” to clarify from time to time, it is a basic and short dialogue tag that readers will just skim right through. Don’t make all dialogue tags “said,” having a good mix is ideal.
- Use ALL the adverbs! New writers, do not use adverbs. Just avoid them. Use them sparingly, but be warned, it’s like a drug or nail-bitting or any other bad habit, once you’ve had a taste, you just keep falling back on it. Be safe with your adverb usage.
Everyone complains about not being able to come up with a good plot, or one that is original. I’m here to tell you that you can - it only took me about 45 minutes to make this long list by scrolling through all my blogs and looking at my book shelf. It’s easy
Here is a list of 26 mostly unique plot ideas you can use if you want to make a new roleplay group.
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It’s hard to say what draws people so different to a similar place. Some believe in the Chinese belief of the Red String of Fate that ties destinies together. Others instead believe in the predetermination that everything is laid out for us before we are even born, the strands of our lives woven since the beginning of time by the Greek Fates. Some believe in soul mates, or that everything simply happens for a reason, that things fall apart so that better things can fall together. Others might think all of that is utter bullshit and only we are in control of our destiny. Yet whatever they might believe, different circumstances have brought a group of hopefuls to the city of New Orleans and regardless of their reasons; these strangers will soon see their lives collide, for better or for worse.