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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Tip Wednesday

 The Top Five Ways Writers Bore Readers

We are all guilty of these in our writing sometimes, myself included. I'm going to start with number 5 and work down to number 1.

#5 --- Stiff Dialogue

One thing that really bothers me in other's writing is stiff dialogue.
     "Hey how are you?" Molly said.
     "Good." said Jeff.
     "That's good," said Molly.

 Booring! No one wants to read something like that. Dialogue can tell a story all on it's own. Let's try that super short scene again.

Molly bounded up to Jeff and tapped him on the back, then smiled at him. "Hey, how are you doing today?" She asked.
  Jeff shifted his eyes away then answered casually, "I'm doing pretty good."
  "That's good," Molly replied, but she could sense that something was wrong.

   You can see that you can add details into the way people say things to make them seem more "alive". But space is short so I'm going to move on.

#4 Unimportant Information

This one bothers me too.
     Storm was a tall brown Appaloosa, whose mother was Misty, whose father was Blackhawk, and Storm liked apples and oats the best but he sometimes liked eating hay. He spent most of his days grazing but sometimes he like to watch butterflies fly by or canter around wildly.

There is a definite fine line here between too much information and a beautiful description. Use your judgement/common sense mostly on this one. Would you want to read about what times of day that Storm takes a drink? Probably not. I think you rather read the exciting book called Appaloosy.

#3 Enticing Openings and Wrap-up endings

Sometimes I have a hard time with this one. Close your eyes. Wait, don't close your eyes, you won't be able to read this. Imagine this instead. You've published your novel! It lies on a bookstore shelf waiting for someone to purchase it with their hard earned money. They read the back of it. They like it. So they open the book at start reading the first few sentences of the story. But-Alas! the story seems to be just not quite interesting enough for them to want to buy it. They close it and put it back on the shelf, uninterested.
     Now-Bang! Your back in real life. You really don't want that for YOUR novel, right? Use enticing openings. Take a look at Appaloosy as an example. I've snatched a lot of people if they would only read the first few paragraphs.
    As for endings-Not with a whimper, but with a bang! You want people to remember your story, to have the last words ring in their head. Think of your favorite book. How does that one end?

I think that this post is getting a bit too long. I wouldn't want to, uh, bore you with it, so I think that I'll leave the last two ways for next Wednesday. Can't wait, eh?
   Your friend,


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