Author Topic: Your Writing Sins  (Read 5183 times)

Offline Pulp

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Your Writing Sins
« on: November 13, 2015, 12:06:02 AM »
Are you brave enough? Do you dare out yourself concerning your most heinous writing crimes?

"We learn more from our failures than we do our successes." -A very wise person, I'm sure

Okay, so I made that quote up. I mean, I didn't. It's an old one ideal that has been re-hashed by ever high school graduation speech and inspiring Hallmark card but that doesn't mean it's not true. Cheesy, maybe, but still potentially true.

So what I'm getting at is what are some writing crimes you find yourself often committing? Do you end sentences with prepositions? Gasp!  :o

Do you start sentences with 'but' or 'and'? Egad!  ::)

The truth is, a lot of writing mistakes are made by some of the best writers. That's why they have editors. Heck, sometimes these writing 'mistakes' are not mistakes at all and are simply a part of the writer's style. A sentence ending with a preposition might roll awkwardly off the tongue, but chances are if I'm enthralled by an amazing story and engaging characters, I won't even notice. And I frequently start sentences with 'but' or 'and'. 8)

Then there are others that are truly horrid. I mean mind-boggling, editor-cringing bad. Writing do-nots such as not knowing how to use a contraction. I would never tell an aspiring writer that they should stop writing but if one does not know to use you're instead of your then I will suggest that they go back to basics.

When you get right down to it, none of us are perfect and some of us are better than others. I don't have any of my own work posted yet but when I do I think you will see what I mean. I feel I have a lot of good tips and tricks to offer aspiring authors but my own writing leaves much to be desired. Sometimes it actually is true that those who can't do, teach.

As for myself, I've never met a comma I don't like. I seem to put them everywhere except for where they're supposed to go. My sentence structuring can also be pretty choppy and I have incorporated incomplete sentences into my narrative as if I'm attempting to start a trend.

Heck. I even still occasionally slip up in my use of past and present-tense.

It's a struggle and the struggle is real. So come on in and share your own tales of writing woe. Just be careful where you step. Those are my guts on the floor.  ;)

Offline thatollie

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 05:40:20 AM »
I use vast swathes of abstract exposition all the goddamn time.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline heidi52

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015, 07:37:07 AM »
I mess up dialog punctuation all the time. I seem to have some mental block with it.

JewelAS53

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2015, 07:48:31 AM »
I like 'really', i discovered, really, a lot. ;)

Jo Bannister

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2015, 09:24:53 AM »
I exercise my vocabulary.  Even my dimmest characters use words they'd never have come across.  My first rewrite is always to replace obscure long words with common short ones.

Offline AndersW

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2015, 09:52:58 AM »
I tend to write my first draft like everyone can read my mind and then have to add scenes that show what the hell I'm talking about ;)
Also, English is not my first language and I sometimes have to look at a sentence for ages, daring it to do something illegal. Sometimes they do and I delete it with extreme prejudice, then fuss over the new sentence because by that time everything looks wrong.
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Offline thatollie

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 10:05:18 AM »
The narrators of all my stories speak directly to the reader all the time. They also complain loudly about not being very good writers.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline RamblingRose

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 06:46:31 AM »
I'm quite a fan of starting sentences with but and and. It surely can't be wrong all the time :)

Offline Pulp

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2015, 02:37:55 PM »
I mess up dialog punctuation all the time. I seem to have some mental block with it.

Dialogue punctuation is the Devil.  >:( I never know what to do with the comma and God forbid the dialogue should end with a question. Do I capitalize the 'he' in 'he asked' or not? And even when I learn it, I always forget it.  :P So you're not alone.

I exercise my vocabulary.  Even my dimmest characters use words they'd never have come across.  My first rewrite is always to replace obscure long words with common short ones.

This happens to me occasionally. I am also really bad at showing an accent or a unique way of speaking and so my characters can often come across as having very generic voices. I tend to sneak in a character's heritage when I introduce them and then bring it up occasionally throughout the story so that hopefully my reader will put that accent in there instead. I might even focus on a few specific phrases, but I've stopped trying to actually write accents.

I tend to write my first draft like everyone can read my mind and then have to add scenes that show what the hell I'm talking about ;)
Also, English is not my first language and I sometimes have to look at a sentence for ages, daring it to do something illegal. Sometimes they do and I delete it with extreme prejudice, then fuss over the new sentence because by that time everything looks wrong.

This can be a blessing and a curse. I have much the opposite problem. I tend to overdo my first draft and make it waaaay too long. God help the person whom dares volunteers to read it. I do this a lot when attempting to write a short story. Next thing I know, I have a 60,000 word short story.   :-\

I like 'really', i discovered, really, a lot. ;)

It's really not that bad. Really, I promise.  ;D

Offline Demmy

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 11:22:21 AM »
I use commas like confetti but I'm working on it.  I've heard of the subject object rule but I've no idea if I'm getting it right. 

I will sometimes start a sentence with and if it's in dialogue or internal monologue.
'When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story,’ he said. ‘When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.'  Stephen King - On Writing.

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Mister URL

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2016, 12:56:53 PM »
I often find that I do not like a character (probably because they are poorly written) and have to find some way to kill them off without ruining the story.

Jo Bannister

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2016, 01:45:41 PM »
I get too fond of my most villainous characters, and give them all the best lines.  I once recast an entire book because I liked the villain too much to make him the murderer, as originally intended.

cmb

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2016, 02:48:56 PM »
Since I'm perfect (hey, come on, I'm god, aren't I?),  my writing has to be perfect. Always. Even the first draft. I'll bet we all know how well that works.

Offline Simple Things

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 03:48:23 PM »
I tried to exterminate mine and ended up with a host of others. I've come to believe these sins are part of my style and that each change I make in my style, only changes the sins to choose from.

I used to have a sin that dealt with a regulated flow in my sentence structures. Someone had to point that out to me because I couldn't see it until.

I used to have a sin for 'though' and 'but' - those conditional conditions to explain or fill out a scene. Eh, I probably still dip into that one.

I'm still sinning, I'm sure of it.
 

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Your Writing Sins
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 05:59:31 PM »
I don't think of them as "sins." Rather, they are mistakes to be corrected and learned from.

Nothing so serious as a Sin.
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