Annoying writing mistakes...

by Madison
(U.S.A. Virginia)

Question: I'm writing a fiction novel and as I'm writing I think 'oh, this is great, sounds wonderful,' but when I look back I think, 'how in the world could I think that was ever good!?!?'

It's the sentences that really have me stumped, I have the plot and that's easy to fix but it's those annoying sentences! This awesome site is a good example, all the sentences go together and sound great but mine couldn't sound worse if they were hit by a car, or maybe they could, i don't know!
So, does anybody have some editing tips and maybe writing tips on how things should be written?

Very Annoyed Sentence Writer,


PS. If anyone has some tips on making fictional worlds that would be some awesome help.

Answer: Have you checked out the video by Ira Glass on the following page?

The point of this video is that it's a good thing if you can look at your writing and say "this is disappointing" or "this sucks." It means that you can tell good sentences from bad ones, which means you have taste.

If you didn't have this taste, there would be no way you could ever become a good writer. Believe me, there are lots of bad writers who think their writing is good, but
it will never become good because they wouldn't know a bad sentence if it was written in a 48pt bold font, underlined, at the end of a large arrow labelled THIS IS A BAD SENTENCE.

Congratulate yourself for having good taste! It means you have a chance to become a good writer.

Now, the real work is applying that taste and rewriting your sentences until you can honestly say, "this does not suck. It may not be as good as Ernest Hemingway, but it does not suck."

It may take time to improve. Sometimes you may revise the same sentence 100 times over the course of many months. (For instance, I cannot ever look at a page of this website without finding at least one sentence I want to rewrite. Revision becomes a habit.)

But gradually, your writing will get better and better and you will be able to say what you want clearly, melodiously, and succinctly.

At the same time, I assume you read avidly? Reading helps you develop your feel for how to create good sentences, for how words can flow harmoniously. It teaches you how other writers solved similar problems.

Of course, there are some useful tips you can find in writing books. And I've put a few on this page...

But nothing beats reading and writing.

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