Monday, June 25, 2012

Bad Habits Die Hard

Writing is no easy task. The amount of work that goes into a poem, short story, novel, or screenplay takes a lot of time and dedication. So those sneaky little bad habits getting in our way makes our job harder. Nothing is worse then knowing your habits and having the hardest time in breaking them.

What's mine?

Telling vs. Showing AND punctuation.

These are HUGE considering they are the most noticeable when it comes to readers. I'm sure my critique partners are beyond annoyed by page fifty after all the paragraphs they highlight. We've started to do a chapter at a time. They show me my biggest mistakes and I comb through the pages and try and improve in chapter two. The only way to get better is to practice.

What are your bad habits? No time like the presence to tell us your dirty little secrets! How are you improving them?

19 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Lately it's been not varying my sentence structure. And I'm trying to work on getting my voice right when sharing my main character's internal thoughts.

Sarah said...

I am the queen of saying things twice. I get so carried away by my prose and the emotion in the story that I can't just say it one way--I have to say it another way, and maybe yet another way, before I let it go. This is ... not good. I'm getting better at editing myself and condensing and deleting the extra stuff, but it's still an issue for me.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Perfect practice makes perfect. Sadly, I have experience in practicing bad habits not good ones!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Overuse of certain words. I am getting better though.

Clarissa Draper said...

Grammar is what I suck at most. I'm studying it diligently but it's so difficult for me.

Meredith said...

In my first drafts, I hardly ever add details or descriptions. So that's what I have to spend the bulk of my revisions on, but hopefully it all turns out all right in the end. :)

Abby Minard said...

I can't seem to get the hang of ONE space after periods and not two...and too many commas ;p I'm the comma queen in my crit group, lol. Although I've gotten MUCH better with my current WIP.

Stephanie said...

The more I write, the cleaner my writing gets. So I must be learning something along the way!! LOL!!! I'm to the point now where as I type out my first draft, sometimes almost instantly when I type a word I know is a no-no, I delete immediately. Other times, no so much. If I am really into the story and it is flowing freely, I get lost in my story and don't notice the mistakes so easily.

My biggest is the word "that".

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SA Larsenッ said...

Ooh, by far: procrastination and not trusting my gut. Grrr....you'd think I'd be over that by now.

Clare C. Greenstreet said...

My bad habit is describing outfits. every time there is a chance the characters would be wearing a change of clothes, I will describe the outfits. Worse with female characters because they get more choice in what they wear. Male characters just end up in t-shirts, shirt and jeans and combats. Unless they have a thing for mad print t-shirts.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Ooo, great idea!

I have problems with overusing commas and some telling. But my biggest bad habit is "that". I way overuse the word! It's a little scary, but I'm working on fixing it. :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Too many exclamations points!!! Or so my editor tells me. I let her take care of it. Teehee!!!!!!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I have SO many bad habits! My worst is probably that I'm utterly disorganized. :) I need to outline or at least have character sheets or SOMETHING, but... I just want to get to the story! Ah well. :)

Li said...

Procrastination. Switching tenses. Clunky transitions. Just to name a few :-)

Gail said...

My worse habit is thinking I can say it all in one page.

Liesel K Hill said...

I think I've done all these things at one time or another. Lately, my biggest oops has been skipping words all together! It's like I get so carried away in the moment and my brain moves faster than my fingers so my fingers skip entire words and I don't realize it until I look at it later on. Weird, huh?

KarenG said...

Telling vs. showing is one of mine too, and I am constantly fixing it when I revise. Punctuation is a tough one. If you don't learn that in school (and grammar isn't taught like it used to be so younger writers can be at a disadvantage there) then it helps to get a couple good grammar books and study punctuation.

LTM said...

Ahh! You are so right about those sneaky bad habits. Mine's over describing and "rushing," meaning not spending enough time rounding out scenes.

It seems like those two should cancel each other out, yes? :p <3