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Common Writer Mistakes #1

Common Writer Mistakes is a series where I talk through some common mistakes I see writers (even myself) make.

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Good vs bad adverbs

I’ve talked before about how writers should use adverbs sparingly. But I haven’t talked about good vs bad adverbs. Bad adverbs are like smiled happily. Or fiercely killed him. Or softly whispered. Readers can already tell she’s happy because she’s smiling. Killing someone is already fierce, and whispering is already soft. These adverbs don’t add much … More Good vs bad adverbs

Common Writer Mistakes #2

#2 — Vagueness for tension A novel I edited once kept saying him and his death for about twenty pages before actually explaining who he was. Instead of feeling a sense of curiosity, I was confused. I kept wondering who he was and why he mattered. I’ve run across this type of vagueness before. Some … More Common Writer Mistakes #2

What’s the difference between the levels of editing?

All the different editing stages can get confusing. So, here’s a breakdown: Developmental Editing This focuses on your book’s big picture, including: Chapter organization Characterization Dialogue Ending Inconsistencies Pacing Plot holes POV Structure Themes Voice Since this stage helps bigger items, it doesn’t usually do much sentence-level wise. Instead, it helps develop your story, making … More What’s the difference between the levels of editing?

Common Writer Mistakes #1

#1 — Using multiple adjectives “The house on the hill was old, broken, and abandoned. I always passed it on my way home. It stared back at me with its empty, death-glaring, sick eyes.” Adjectives help, but too many of them back-to-back can weigh down a story. It sounds more like a bumpy ride on … More Common Writer Mistakes #1

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