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  1. #1
    Dungeon Mistress SickenlySweete's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    the Underworld

    The seven deadly sins of writing

    SIN 1: Incorrect Punctuations

    Punctuations are an important part of any story. It's funny how many writers forget how they work and why they're used. One of the more often made mistakes is the use of quotations within punctuations.

    Example: Correct ("He loves you," she said.) Incorrect ("He Loves you", she said.)

    All punctuations should be enclosed within the quotations, no matter what they are. (!), (?), (,), (.) Always inside the (").

    Commas! When in doubt always use a comma. Commas help the reader to take a mental break, they help to keep the flow of the story going comfortably. Many writers under use this lowly little punctuation mark, but shouldn't.

    SIN 2: Spelling

    You'd be amazed how many writers don't use their spell checkers. Almost every computer comes with a word processor, and if the one you're using doesn't, you should consider upgrading your system.

    No matter how much you try to proofread your own work (even with a spell checker), you'll most likely miss something. That's pretty normal. When you write a story, you see what you meant, not necessarily what you wrote. That's why a proofreader-editor can save a story.

    Don't go it alone; hook up with another writer or someone from the proofreader/editor web site above. You'll have more satisfied readers, guaranteed.

    SIN 3: Formatting your story for the Web

    No one likes to read one long paragraph. Try to break up your paragraphs into manageable segments. And, since most visitors read your web stories on their computers (even when they download them), it is a must to leave white space between the paragraphs. That means an empty space between paragraphs. (It's much easier on the eyes.)

    Good formatting is essential for easy reading. It is advisable to break out "dialog" as separate paragraphs, and/or sentences with white space between them too.

    Another mistake is to use your word processor's indent. Indented sentences format funny when they're converted from word processors to text formats. You can't post a readable word processor format onto the Internet, only HTML or text TXT. ANY OTHER FORMAT HAS TO BE DOWNLOADED AND COULD CONTAIN A VIRUS. And that's a sure way to scare away readers.

    SIN 4: People speak naturally, don't they?

    When you have dialog in your story, consider how people really talk. Use slang to make the characters more realistic. A stilted formal dialog kills a story almost as fast as bad punctuation or misspelled words. Consider substituting "they're" for "they are' or "she'd" for "she would" or "can't" for "can not" or "they'll" for "they will" etc. People don't talk in formal speech patterns, not in real life anyway. Neither should your characters, not if you want people to read your next story.

    SIN 5: Over using names

    Try not to use the same words in a paragraph - and never "over use" a character's name. A story where almost every sentence starts out with the heroine's name or where there could have been a less, redundant "he" or "she" will turn most readers off sooner or later. Throw in a "she" or "he" or a "hers" or "his" if it won't confuse the reader as to who you're refering to. A good rule of thumb; only use a character's name once in a paragraph or less if possible.

    SIN 6: Using more words than necessary

    Don't use the same gimmick over and over again. The word "Then" is WAY over used. Example: "He then got up and moved into the other room..." (No reason to insert the word "then" but you'd be surprised how many writers do just that.) Consider the shortest sentence to tell your story, cut out superfluous words; it'll make for a better read.

    SIN 7: Did you re-read your story?

    ALWAYS RE-READ YOUR STORY! No one, no matter how many stories they've written should EVER pass-on a story without reading it again at least once. Typos and misspelled words will jump out at you on a re-read. You'll even find whole words or sentences that don't make sense when you take a second look at what you've written.

    While you're re-reading; be critical, look for words or phrases that you can eliminate. Many times a sentence will read much better when you remove extraneous words. If they don't add to the story they should be cut. You'll find that when you look at your work with a critical eye you can ALWAYS make the story flow smoother than it did in the first draft.

    That's how the really great web authors produce what you have enjoyed reading. Those stories are what got you writing in the first place. Just remember the stories that you stopped reading because there were too many things wrong with them. Don't let that happen to your efforts. It's not that hard to produce a good story.

    "When I'm good, I'm very very good, but when
    I'm bad, I'm better. "
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  2. #2
    SIN 8: Do not use the Thesaurus! Chances are if you don't know the word nor will your reader. Read one book at a time, please!

  3. #3
    Well summarized, Avros. Your points are all to the point and apply whether writing for the web or for publication.
    Last edited by IamBoo; July 5th, 2019 at 09:20 PM.


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