7 Bad Writing Habits
Hedging is when you express hesitation and indirectness in your writing, and using it may imply that you aren’t confident or fully comfortable with what you’re writing about. For example, using terms such as ‘perhaps’ or ‘potentially’ insinuates that you might not be certain of what you're writing.
2: Excessive Writing
When describing a character or setting it is important not to write excessively. By expressively describing something, it leaves no room for imagination, and exorbitant descriptions can make the piece less enjoyable and more of a chore to read. When reading a fictional piece or any literary writing, readers want something which provokes a page turn. A sense of mystery of what’s to come doesn’t often go hand-in-hand with excessive writing.
3: Abrupt Endings
If your writing has a hold on your reader, and they enjoy your writing throughout the book, the one way to lose them is right at the end. The ending of a plot is the last thing on your reader’s mind, and it's the last chance you have to ensure they enjoy your work. With a deflated and dissatisfying ending, your reader loses the chance to gather up all loose questions or be provided with a main source to a sequel!
4: Prescriptive Writing
Prescriptive writing is making assumptions of what should be, instead of what is. In novel writing this can imply a loose plot with no structure, but it may also lead some readers to form their own interpretation of your writing—it depends on what you like. However, to stay on the safe side, using past or present tense makes more sense than writing like you also aren’t sure what’s going to happen next.
5: Avoid Generalisation
One way for creating ambiguity in your writing is to use generalisation. One issue with generalisation is the effect of being rather vague. An example of this is saying terms such as ‘people’ instead of specifying the unique qualities of a group. By using generalisations, you’re implying that you haven’t thought your characters or descriptions through. By generalising you risk being unclear or inconsistent, and your reader will spend more time trying to understand the meaning of your writing rather than enjoying it.
6: Lack of Emotive Range
Emotions are something which many readers can relate to: they make us human. In any of your writing, varying your emotions allows readers to share a collective experience with the writer. If you were writing a novel, conflict alongside happiness presents variation and more substance to the plot. The character’s journey needs to show the relatable aspects of life— going through the motions and coming out the other side!
7: Overuse of Adverbs
The overuse of adverbs can lead to a messy read. Concise descriptive writing is something which is commendable within any piece. Good luck writing!
By Evie Bamforth
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