So today the idea is to throw out a few of my common writing mistakes-- the ones I catch myself making even though I know all about them-- and hopefully hearing some of yours, too. I will be referring back to Ms. Jewel's fabulous workshop with links so you don't have to hunt things out yourself... in case you'd like an author's take.
Diana's Top Three Writing Mistakes
- Showing, instead of telling. Ughhhh, forgetting this is writing's biggest evil. Probably the hardest thing to fix. The bottom line? People will not pay to be told about stuff. In fact, people won't even be told stuff for free! Check out some clear examples from Ms. Jewel HERE, and then understand it further with another activity HERE.
- First Draft-Itis. Oy. A first draft is a skeleton. It's a map of where I'm headed. It's other analogies, but it isn't a publishable book. Nathan Bransford blogged on this on Friday too, so if you don't want to go HERE for Ms. Jewel's savvy take on mining for gold in your First Draft, then go HERE for a tiny bit from Nathan regarding NaNo and not submitting a first draft to agents.
- Using Overdone Phrases and Cliches. Ms. Jewel lists three types of repetition: Micro, Macro, and Mega. I'm guilty of mega repetition (doesn't that sound bad?). It's when a writer uses overdone phrases; things like "He looked up," or "She turned," etc. Her list is more in tune with historical romance, but the idea of using the same ol', same ol' for descriptions is bad, and it crosses genre-lines.
Do you have any problem areas? Do you know and understand, just as I do, that active voice is the goal but still find your drafts full of passive when you re-read? (Passive voice would be my fourth top writing mistake. Find some explanations and clarity from Ms. Jewel HERE). What are some writing mistakes you catch yourself making?