On Writing


On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

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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On Writing

Writing Pitfall #2: Prologues and Epilogues   Welcome to part two of our series on Writing Pitfalls for New Authors. This week the Divas tackle the issue of prologues and epilogues and talk about when they are appropriate to use and when they are not. So you want to write a prologue or epilogue. Yeah . . . no. Don’t. Okay, okay . . . that’s...

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On Writing

Writing Pitfall #1: Lackluster Opening Scenes   Write Divas is pleased to present our twelve-part series, Writing Pitfalls for First Time Authors. In this series, the Divas will pinpoint the most common writing “mistakes” that will mark you as a first time author and help you avoid these pitfalls like a seasoned pro.     It was a dark, mundane, terribly clichéd, and stormy night… Opening scenes....

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