Tag: English

Harmful Habits to Avoid When Writing

They say you should write like you speak, which is mostly true. But when you’re in a creative flow and writing just seems to come naturally, it’s easy to overlook mistakes and fall back into a safety net of repetition. You might be writing just like you speak, but it’s important to remember to avoid using the same exact words and phrases in each and every one of your written pieces. There’s a lot of mistakes that can be made with creative writing, but if you edit with a careful eye, your writing can be that much more impactful.

There’s some truth to the quote “write drunk and edit sober.”

Run-on Paragraphs

We are taught at an early age how unprofessional and awkward sounding run-on sentences can be. In an attempt to avoid these however, many writers end up creating run-on paragraphs. Most readers want clear, concise sentences that are easy to read. A huge paragraph without breaks looks like a giant concoction of information that makes people zone out.

Break up your paragraphs depending on where subjects shift. Varying lines of words are much more pleasing to the human eye, and will keep your readers’ attentions.

Long-winded Introductions

Introductions are obviously key parts of stories to lay ground for what’s to come, whether they are fiction, nonfiction, or news stories. However, a lot of writers tend to ramble with this much creative freedom. I suggest sticking to just 4 or 5 sentences when writing an introduction rather than incorporating a life story that you think a few readers might enjoy. In most cases, they’re here to read the piece of content for what it is, and nothing more.

Exclamation Points

I understand these are basic punctuation marks that are used pretty frequently, but a surefire way to lose credibility in your story is to use too many exclamation points. Personally, I think even one is too many. Unless you are quoting somebody or the situation really calls for it, try to avoid using an exclamation point at all costs. It almost forces the reader to hear the sentence in a surprised, amateurish tone. It’s a step away from using all caps, something we can all agree should never be done (unless on Twitter).


Reading vague sentences that don’t seem to get to the point can be incredibly frustrating for readers. The longer it takes you to clearly explain the main point of your sentence, paragraph, or entire story, the less interested your audience will be. Keep in mind that people’s attention spans are typically very short. If it takes 100 words or more for them to figure out just what you’re trying to say, readers are going to skim your writing.

Though I have just listed a few of many possible writing mistakes, many different errors can be umbrellaed under these considerations. Pay attention to your writing before you hit that publish button. Read it out loud. It’s always better to catch these things yourself, before the rest of the world does.

Leonard David Raymundo fewer words

How Fewer Words can Make a Bigger Impact

Less is more is always true when it comes to the art of writing. Whether it’s a note to your boss, or a full length science fiction novel, finding ways to make a big impact with few words is always better.

When it comes to writing fiction, it can be overwhelming given the endless possibilities that come with developing a story, and with those countless options, one is bound to make mistakes here and there. It’s natural. Writing isn’t as easy as it seems on the surface. A great way of attracting a reader’s attention however, is harnessing the less is more concept.

When writing short stories, you are a little more limited in what you say and how you say it. This stresses the importance of engaging readers even more. Keep in mind that less can in fact mean more, so focusing too much on certain details like color and meaning, or using unnecessarily complex vocabulary may hurt your story.

Take the characters of your piece into consideration. Seeing as you’re dealing with a limited amount of words, you’ll want to effectively detail each of their personalities without wasting too much dialogue. A great way to do so is by utilizing gestures. For example, a quarterback heaving the football toward the end zone in the final seconds of the game could be followed by him being carried out of the stadium by the fans. Without describing who or how the ball was caught, the reader knows that a touchdown was thrown, and the game was won.

As stated by Writer’s Relief, the setting of a story can, and usually is just as important as the plot and characters. By describing where the story is taking place, what the weather is like, and in which season we are in, you can adequately paint a picture in the readers’ minds, as well as convey the mood of the story. For example, the quarterback who scored the winning touchdown could be on a muddy field in a downpour to detail tension, and the possibility that the game could be won or lost. Perhaps during that last drive, the clouds began to clear, signifying a comeback in the making.

Clothing is another great way to effectively tell the reader what the personality of a certain character is like, and even provide certain insights into the plot of the story. Continuing with our football example, without ever mentioning the fact that the main character is a quarterback, you could describe the numbers on his jersey and his varsity jacket while nervously waiting for the bell to ring.

Whatever tactics you choose to use in getting your point across in as little words as possible, be precise. Dialogue is absolutely crucial in driving the plot and developing the characters. Using brevity in your work allows you to explain your story without having to go back and elaborate on previously mentioned information.

Always remember, when it comes to writing, short and sweet is the way to go.

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