Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Three Mistakes Writers Make

Bogged down in exposition: so many writers will spend so much time setting the stage for the drama to take place that they lose the reader in the sheer volume of the details. Many readers will, in fact, check out of the story long before the aforementioned drama even has a chance to occur. Too much exposition is like sludge to the storytelling process and should be avoided. You can easily and effectively set the stage and then just let the drama unfold.

Too much minutia: as a reader, I really get distracted and often discouraged by writers who fall in love with the minutia. Whether it's a novel or screenplay, you should only include descriptions of things that move stories forward. In screenplays, you should absolutely only mention that which is relevant to the story, period. You should not add unnecessary elements that don't matter. It's distracting and irrelevant to the actual story. Just ask yourself, "How does this push the story forward?" If it doesn't do anything other than entertain your mental muse, toss it out.

Flowery writing is not only out of style but it's not pretty: too many adjectives and too many "floral arrangements" clutter a room and a great story. Keep it clean and easy to read. You want to move your reader seamlessly and effortlessly through the story and not, again, distract them with your flowery language. Don't be mistaken either. Just because you have an amazing vocabulary loaded with knowledges of adjectives and adverbs doesn't mean you should use them all.

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