Search Results for: writing pitfalls


23

Sep 2013

Writing Pitfall #12: How To Create Backstory

Writing Pitfall #12: How To Create Backstory   Wikipedia mashed together two great definitions of backstory: “A backstory, background story, back-story or background is a set of events invented for a plot, presented as preceding—and leading up to that plot. It is a literary device of a narrative history all chronologically earlier than the narrative of primary interest.” What does that mean to you the writer? To me, it means in order to completely...

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16

Sep 2013

Writing Pitfall #11: Stereotypes and Clichés

Writing Pitfall #11: Stereotypes and Clichés It seems as though every writing website out there has something to say about stereotypes and clichés, but what’s the big deal? When stereotypes and clichés are used, authors simply have to define a character as a dumb jock or a nerdy bookworm, and they can get away without having to establish characterization because the stereotype has done all...

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09

Sep 2013

Writing Pitfall #10: Rushed or Slow Pacing

Writing Pitfall #10: Rushed or Slow Pacing   Nothing can ruin a good story faster than rushed pacing. If you’ve ever read a story, stopped, and blinked, all the while thinking, “wait, what just happened here?” then you know what I mean. But just as bad as rushed pacing is a slow, lagging narrative. You know the kind—where you fight the urge to click the...

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02

Sep 2013

Writing Pitfall #9: Overuse of Dialogue Tags

Writing Pitfall #9: Overuse of Dialogue Tags   In today’s article we are going to discuss our ninth writing pitfall for first time authors, the overuse of dialogue tags. But what’s the big deal? Well, the problem with unnecessary dialogue tags is they eat up your word count and provide very little in return. Not every piece of dialogue needs a tag. Overuse of tags...

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26

Aug 2013

Writing Pitfall # 8: Over Description of Characters and Development

Writing Pitfall # 8: Over Description of Characters and Development   Good character descriptions and details are the beginnings of any great novel. Of course you have the plot, but we’re not talking about that right now. Today, the focus of this article is how to develop your characters and use proper descriptions without info dumping on your readers with excessive information. Create a character...

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19

Aug 2013

Writing Pitfall #7: Over Description

Writing Pitfall #7: Over Description   One of the many pitfalls of writing is over description. We’ve heard the writing advice “describe what your see” or “paint the scene with words.” But sometimes too much is just… too much. The one thing over description does really well is slow a story down. But over description can do more than simply slow a story. Many times...

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12

Aug 2013

Writing Pitfall #6: Mary Sue

Writing Pitfall #6: Mary Sue   As a first-time author, the level of relief and accomplishment matches only your excitement when you turn in your manuscript after weeks and months of writing. So imagine for a moment that your editor returns it with a big, red note on it that says “Get rid of Mary Sue!” Your first reaction, like any new writer, is probably...

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05

Aug 2013

Writing Pitfall #5: Head Hopping

Writing Pitfall #5: Head Hopping   In today’s article, #5 in our series on writing pitfalls for new authors, we will deal with head hopping. Head hopping stems from a lack of understanding of third person perspectives. To properly understand head hopping, we must first review the different types of point of view (POV). Like the first person POV, third person limited is a close perspective that...

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22

Jul 2013

Writing Pitfall #4: Mundane Detail

Writing Pitfall #4: Mundane Detail   Back when I first started writing, I thought details were the meat and potatoes of my stories; the more the better is what I always thought. I had no qualms about writing the step-by-step of how my characters cooked spaghetti, how their shower routines consisted of lather, rinse, repeat with their specifically scented shampoo while their soap was a...

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15

Jul 2013

Writing Pitfall #3: Flashbacks

Writing Pitfall #3: Flashbacks   Literary flashbacks (analepses), and to a lesser extent flashforwards (prolepses), are the bane of many an editor. Why? Mostly because of misuse by authors who don’t understand when, why, and how to use these tools effectively. A flashback does one thing well. It halts the forward momentum of the story in the present in order to visit something that has...

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