As with the time you learned to write without simple and funny spelling errors, over time you can improve the style of your texts. Observe these three errors in writing in which every expert narrator has fallen into at the beginning of his or her writing career and begin to detect them in your writing.
Error No. 1: EXCESS OF ADVERBS ENDING IN "-LY"
How easy it is to abuse the adverbs ending in "-ly". It is comfortable, practical, efficient… and ugly. They reveal two main features of a writer that do not make him look good:
- Novice writer with little practice in the domain of language and its rules.
- A lazy writer who does not thoroughly review the text.
I am not saying that these adverbs are ugly and inefficient. What is bad is the constant repetition of the "obviously, thoroughly, constantly, really, simply etc." Observe the number of the adverbs you use. If in the same paragraph or in consecutive paragraphs you have used two or three, surely you can replace some “unfortunately” with “an unfortunate”.
- You can write as many "-ly" as you want when you are creating. It helps to advance because it is the easy resource, it does not force you to stop to look for a better phrase and thus you can continue your creative turbulence.But later, in the revision phase, look how many of them you can eliminate.
- “Surely you will be surprised” can be changed to “It is safe to say that you will be surprised.”
- Keep in mind these style rules when you decide to use an adverb ending in "-ly".
- They retain the accent of their root: weak = weakly. If you want to put two of them in a row, it is only necessary to keep the form "-ly" in the last one: "He was sitting there, sweetly and serenely."
- You can also separate two of them by commas to give a more subjective nuance: "He was sitting there sweetly, serenely." You must avoid the emphatic form "I personally": it is a redundancy.
The adverbs mostly and very are considered too common. The most successful ways are:
- Mostly = mainlyor also "in particular", if you want to avoid the adverb.
- Matching = precisely
You can use them to put them in the mouths of characters, in the dialogue, when you want to highlight their scarce culture. It is not bad to use the adverbs ending in '-ly' but to use them excessively.
Error No. 2: VARYING THE TIME OF THE NARRATIVE
You start writing, you get excited, you get into the story, you get passionate, the words come to you like a torrent, you cannot stop writing, the scenes are crowded, the events happen and, at some point, you've gone from telling your story in past tense to present tense Or vice versa. Or at times in one or another time, according to your immersion in the story. It is the very common thing to happen. Do not worry. In advanced stages of writing, it can even be considered as a narrative resource and a skill.
But before breaking the rules of the narrative, you need to know them and dominate them totally.
Before running, you need to learn how to walk. Does it make sense, right? It is also common to change the narrator's voice: you start telling the story in the third person –“he used to do it” - and you pass it on in the first person –“I used to do it”.
These narrative shortcomings are a clear indicator that the author is at a very early stage of his literary journey. If you want to make a good impression - for example before publishing your story in a blog or sending a novel to a contest - you need to correct it as soon as possible. With practice, as is natural, you will stop committing these mistakes of writing, and you will be more aware of your own narrative voice, as well as the voice of the narrator. Although there is something else you need at the time, do not make mistakes when writing and it is vital that you know. I'll tell you that at the end because first, we need to know the:
Error No. 3: UNABLE TO CROSS THE MOUNTAIN OF THE CAUSE AND EFFECT LAW
This is a bug often difficult to detect without a thorough reading. It occurs when a situation is resolved miraculously, or a character changes his attitude or thought without an event has caused such a change. That is, to skip to the reason.
The next maxim: a cause precedes any effect.
Example: the man was sitting, contemplating in an absorbed state how the grass grew in his garden. Suddenly, he got up into an uncontrollable frenzy and went to the kitchen, where he eagerly devoured a chorizo sandwich. What is the trigger of that uncontrollable frenzy? What is the logical sequence of thoughts that make you get up, which makes you aware of hunger?
Beware of "suddenly, at a given moment..."
You can make your characters act on impulse, make them have unforeseen reactions ... but be sure to make it clear that the characters behave that way for a reason that makes them that way. The same happens with situations. You cannot solve a murder without having found all the clues, step by step and following a coherent sequence of events.
It is fatal, by the way, to take an ace out of the sleeve at the last moment to square something you have not been able to solve.
“The killer bullet's cap falls out of his pocket? Is that the irrefutable proof? Come on, go, do not tease me! Because that impression is what you produce in the reader.”In your story or novel, nothing should happen by chance. And when this happens you must say it, emphasise it, make clear that chance plays a relevant role in history, which is almost protagonist. Luck or chance, after all, is the result of a chain of events whose connection we do not know. Many writers have mastered this concept, which has become a central part of his subject, almost an obsession ... often not well understood. Remember: each act has its consequence, and each consequence is associated with the preceding events and also with the future ones.
Narrative principle: every action involves a reaction and there is no reaction without prior action.
Denoting concern for the way you write, a certain care in what you say and how you say it. It is a sign of professionalism, of knowing the basic rules of the trade, of not being a novice in narrative matters.
We all have fallen at some point in these errors when writing. You are not born taught, they are basic failures, they are part of the learning process. It is even positive to commit them in early stages of writing because they help to be alert, to take the necessary revisions seriously. They are polished with practice and in the correction process; they can be easily corrected as long as you know how to detect them. But, as with this post you may be discovering something important, you need to know that there are many determining factors when creating a story or a novel and that you can only learn them with specific training.
I do not believe, at all, in the topic that writing is learned by writing. And I'll tell you why: seeing a lot of sport does not make you an athlete, right? Nor listening to music all day will make you a concert pianist, or a singer. To get to master an art, whatever it is, you also need to know techniques that help you translate it. In painting, for example, it would be the pictorial technique. For those who want to write, this is equivalent to the narrative technique. And it has nothing to do with knowing how to write well or know much about writing. It is clear that you can have more facility to learn certain things, possess great skills or even a natural gift for writing. But not only do you need to read a lot and practice writing: you also need to know techniques, master resources and develop skills. I hope this post helps you not to make these mistakes when writing.