Okay, so maybe not everything. But there’s a lot of stuff that I remember learning in middle and high school that turned out to not actually work for me — or for pretty much anybody — as a writer. I’m hoping that if I can lay these lies out for you, we cans turn it around and unlearn some of these bad habits. Because, man, nothing says “noob” like practicing some of these frequently-taught faux pas.
Lie #1: Be super duper descriptive!
Wait, wait, I know what you’re thinking. Descriptive language is good, right? You want your reader to know what you’re talking about, and to be able to see, smell it, hear it, touch it, taste it the way you do in your head. The problem is that, when it comes to description, a little bit goes a long way. Sometimes, it’s about finding a better word to use, instead of a string of adverbs and adjectives to go with your verb or noun. You know, you could say “She skulked through the forest” instead of “She walked sneakily through the heavily-wooded area.” See what I mean? Now, that’s kind of an obvious one, but when you go to write, here’s a good trick to keep in mind: modifiers are evil. They are sneaky and they will slip into your poetry and prose without you even noticing. Your job, as a writer, is to keep an eye on those things.~ read more ~