Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bad, Bad Habits to Avoid When Writing Fiction

As an author of fiction, it poses thrilling and tantalizing possibilities since your work is an open slate before you. However, there are a few bad habits that you must steer clear of if you want to excel in your next writing project:

1. Cut out generic nouns and verbs: There are so many words in the alphabet that you truly want to paint a picture in your writing. Instead of using vague descriptive words, bring detail to any sentence that you write by choosing words that are off of the beaten path. Have others read your work, and if you find yourself using the same words over and over again, begin to substitute synonyms to add color to your fiction.

2. Create compelling dialogue:
Dialog should mimic an actual conversation so that you are drawn into the text. It can become quite disruptive if the author continues to use "he said, she said". Instead, create the dialogue in a way that the conversation is easy to follow without tagging which characters said what over and over again.

3. Edit your use of adverbs:
To qualify point number one, you still must edit your use of adverbs so that the fictional text does not become too wordy and difficult to read. Often times, less is more, so cut out one or more adverbs and adjectives if you find yourself overdoing it in your fictional writing. Another issue is contradictions, like the phrase "very unique". Something will or will not be unique, so saying "very unique" is actually redundant.

4. Be realistic:
If your dialogue in the story does not sound the way that people actually would talk, it will be difficult for your reader to believe your fiction. Instead, add in slang and pauses so that it sounds more similar to an actual conversation.

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