Saturday, August 13, 2011

Writing Tip - Be Aware of Your Bad Habits

We all have bad habits we develop as writers. Often those will be little things such as a word that we overuse or a punctuation mark that keeps cropping up (too many exclamation marks) or a style that may become a problem if it's overused (too many fragmented sentences). When you read through your manuscript, look for these recurring problems and make some decisions. Some habits may either drive you crazy as a writer or as a reader. Some may be acceptable to you and you can hereafter regard them as just part of your style. For the habits you want to break, try making a list of the ones that are most annoying, so that you'll remember to look for them each book and weed them out (or write them on note cards and tack them up around your workspace as a reminder to be more careful). But even for the others, the bad habits you've decided to accept or even embrace, revisit those often (with every book you write). A habit that was acceptable for one book and in small doses may quickly drag down your stories if you let it get out of hand. Anything that pulls the reader out of the book or annoys the reader is poison to a writer.

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