11 Pitfalls That Can Throw Off Your Writing Dynamics
Your writing dynamics are a combination of the effectiveness of your writing along with your ability to create written works efficiently. It doesn’t matter if you are a novelist, poet, blogger, copywriter, or journalist maintaining good writing dynamics is important. Unfortunately, there are some creeping bad habits that can throw you off your game. The best way to avoid these is to be aware of them. Then, be vigilant.
Blowing The Ending
Many writers can produce perfectly insightful works when it comes to the beginning and the middle of their pieces. Unfortunately, the ending is often another story altogether. Whether it’s the final chapter of your eBook or the last couple of paragraphs of a blog post, neatly summarizing things can be tricky.
Some writers attempt to leave the conclusion off altogether. Others make the mistake of repeating points that were already made. Instead, try to show how each item you have presented adds up to prove your initial assertion.
Overusing Certain Words And Phrases
Every writer has certain go-to words and phrases that pop up throughout their writing. On one hand, this can become a part of your voice. On the other hand, taken too far this can make your writing predictable and repetitive.
One thing to consider is taking some of your writing and Pasting into a website or tool that generates word clouds. There are plenty of these available for free. This will produce a word cloud that lets you know the words that appear most in your writing. If a few words really stand out, consider using an alternative every once in a while.
Using The Passive Voice
The increasingly, common use of the passive voice has the effect of making writing seem weird and a bit stuffy. Using this technique can cause writers to seem as if they are trying to sound more academic and intellectual than they are.
If you have this habit, break it ASAP. Editors really look down on this, and it does make your writing quite ineffective. In fiction, If you choose to write in the passive voice, you are taking power and interest away from your characters.
Overuse of Adverbs
Remember that a powerful verb is always better than an adverb combined with a weaker verb. Think about that. Doesn’t this: “She sprinted across the lawn just in time to prevent the toddler from walking in front of a speeding car”. Sound better than: “She ran quickly across the lawn just in time to prevent the toddler from walking in front of a speeding car”.
If you are tempted to use a word to supplement a verb, stop and look for a verb that doesn’t need to be supplemented. In nearly every case, your writing will be more powerful, and you will communicate more effectively using fewer words.
Skipping The Editing And Proofreading Steps
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about something easy and trivial. And it doesn’t matter if you are a subject matter expert. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick piece that you could turn out in your sleep. No piece of writing should be released for consumption without going through some sort of editing and proofreading process. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner writing an essay for college or a published author, everybody needs an editor.
Misunderstanding Your Audience
If you fail to research and properly understand who you are writing for, your work can come off more than a little tone deaf. The last thing that you want to do is to explain basic concepts to an advanced audience. You also don’t want to make the mistake of assuming that a general audience has advanced knowledge of a particular subject.
Then, there’s the matter of tone. If you use humor or pop culture references in your writing, it is very important to ensure that those things will be well received and understood.
Writing For Word Count
It feels like you’ve been writing for hours. You’re tired, and you cannot think of one more word to say on the matter. So, you hit the word count checker. Bad news, you’re a hundred words short. At this point, you’re probably tempted to go back and add in filler words and sentences to just to be done with things. Unfortunately, this rarely turns out well.
Instead of trying to fit in some extra words here and there, try finding an example that you can add. Other options are to include more detail to instructions or to add some dialogue.
Failing to Write Everyday
Writing talent is like a muscle. If you fail to use it, the ability atrophies. By writing at least a bit every day, you stay on top of your game. This makes it much easier to stay productive when you have deadlines to meet. Even if you don’t have any active deadlines, daily writing is your key to honing your craft and perfecting your voice.
Ernest Hemingway, one of the most respected authors of all time, was known for writing that was both powerfully brief. He didn’t waste words, and he got right to the point. It’s very important to monitor your own writing for throw away words and sentences that add nothing to your work.
A writer’s keyboard can be identified by the faded letters and smoothly worn spacebar. One key that should not have the same amount of wear and tear as the others, is the backspace. This is because deleting things should largely be left to the editing stage of the game and not the writing stage. Don’t censor yourself during the writing process. You could end up killing off a great idea that just needs a bit of polishing.
Use of Jargon
Unless you are truly dealing with industry insiders, it is rarely a good idea to use jargon or buzzwords in your writing. In the rare instances where you cannot get away from doing this, be sure to adequately explain what each term means.
Stay in practice, pay attention to detail, write for your audience instead of yourself, and be creative. These are the things that will keep your writing dynamics on point.