Welcome back again, hope you liked the “Structural and Grammatical Mistakes”. Now, it’s time to move ahead and learn about the drafting mistakes to minimize writing mistakes.
- Using of Cliché and Idioms In writing
Cliché: Terms overused lose originality E.g. Wait and watch
Idioms: Figure of Speech but many people don’t know the meaning
eg. Before investment, one must test the waters.
For example, which of the following statements is more interesting?
- She can live any life she wants as she was born with silver spoon in her mouth.
- She can live a lavish life because she belongs the riches of the society.
- Both statements present adequate information, but the first statement uses a cliché to do it and the second (stronger) statement does not.
2. Clunky Prose Writers need to research well before writing
Discussion, online study and books are great sources
Result is clear and easily understandable content
Lack of flow makes prose ‘clunky’
Pointless telling and not showing is not accepted
its is clunky writing as shows key information in not a proper way
His father was a rough sort of man who never had anything nice to say.
“Why couldn’t you be more like your brother?” His father’s familiar words stung as much as ever.
Which of these examples is showing, and which is simply telling?
Make Final Content Free from Clunky Prose
3. How Lazy Is Your Writing?
Proofreading is crucial.
Edit, if required.
Errors make writing lazy
Make your writing free from lazy mistakes
Replace any cliché or idioms
At the end, check if your prose is fluent and thoughtful
Not clean writing if an idea or thought is repeated in a content.
Repetition not allowed even through different sentence structure, way of speech etc.
Repetition obstructs flow and makes writing flat
Reader wants accurate and updated information
Adopt interesting and humorous ways of narration
Repetition snatches the captivity of writing
5. Flat writing
Something is conveyed in this sentence, but who cares? The writing is so flat; it just dies on the page.
- Flat writing indicates writer has lost interest.
- Give your writing texture, character, and texture.
- Don’t replace it with their substitute words
- Rethink, Refuel and Rewrite & get rid of Flat WritingExample: “He wanted to know but couldn’t understand what she had to say, so he waited until she was ready to tell him before asking what she meant.”6. Empty adverbs Actually, totally, absolutely, completely, continually, constantly, continuously, literally, really, unfortunately, ironically, incredibly, hopefully, finally – these and others words promise emphasis, but suck the meaning out of every sentence.Here, “in fact” and “actually” emphasize but junk up the sentence.
Remove them and just use “only”. It conveys efficiency and precision.
- Secret to get rid of Empty Adverbs
- Chant this mantra: Precise and spare; precise and spare; precise and spare.Example: In Still Life with Crows, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child describe a mysterious row of corn in the middle of a field: “It was, in fact, the only row that actually opened onto the creek.”
7. No-good suffixes
Have a look at these words…
Mindlessness, characterlessness, courageousness, statuesqueness, preciousness. These “ness” words make it hard for the readers to understand things.
“ize” words- finalize, conceptualize, fantasize, categorize etc. denote shortcut try to use them rarely
Adding “lv” to “ing” words distracts reader writing suffers due to it.
Example: Remember the old Tom Swifties? “I hate that incision,” the surgeon said cuttingly. “I got first prize!” the boy said winningly. But the point to a good Tom Swiftier is to make a punch line out of the last adverb.
- Use “ingly” words like “annoyingly”, “surprisingly” etc. cautiously.Readers find it hard to pronounce and understand.
8. The “To be” WORDS
The “to be” words- “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” “be,” “being,” “been” etc. make your writing flat
Denote existence of things. Example: “I am here. You are there”. Just like in Hamlet “to be, or not to be”.
”was” is overburdened in the sentence- “Around the corner, behind the stove, under the linoleum, was the gun.” All the suspense of finding the gun goes away. The “to be” word is not fair to the gun, which gets lost in a sea of prepositions.
Also, have some relevance sometimes-“In a frenzy by now, he pushed the stove away from the wall and ripped up the linoleum. Cold metal glinted from under the floorboards. He peered closer. Sure enough, it was the gun.”
Use “to be” words rarely. Example: “She was entranced by the roses, hyacinths, impatiens, mums, carnations, pansies, irises, peonies, hollyhocks, daylillies, morning glories, larkspur…” The beauty of the sentence is easily highlighted here.
9. Show, don’t tell
In sentence “she was stunning and powerful,” you’re *telling* readers. But, with “I was stunned by her elegant carriage as she strode past the jury – shoulders erect, elbows back, her eyes wide and watchful,” you’re *showing* readers.
Make content appealing through making readers visualize and not telling them.
Some words make readers think in a subjective way like Handsome, attractive, momentous, embarrassing, fabulous, powerful, hilarious, stupid, fascinating etc.
Don’t disclose and specifically describe something. And, begin with cliché.
10. Awkward phrasing
Awkward phrasing obstructs reader’s flow and makes him stop and think the meaning of word or phrase.
Write your content in time and before the deadline. Makes easy to spot this mistake and correct it.
Example: “I sat down and ran a finger up the bottom of his foot, and he startled so dramatically …. ” Egad, “he startled”?
The writer means “he started”?
11. The Right Use of Comma
“Her face had the ivory tinge of at brine; her hair, which had once been the color of bottled honey, was dark and stringy with sweat.”
Readers find this sentence easily readable and visualize easily.
Refrain from making these mistakes.
Renders your writing useless.
Use compound sentences, modifying clauses and phrases