Welcome! Today I’m going to help your writing style out so you don’t look like a rookie.
So, I did a freelance writing assignment a month ago. I pitched a great idea and was set to write it a few days before my deadline. I like to turn things in early.
Except, I got sick. I couldn’t even get out of bed to write a draft. I didn’t start writing until the NIGHT BEFORE, so I wrote 1,000 words in a blur of fingers flying everywhere.
Well, I got feedback on it. And it sucked!
Not only did I miss typical guidelines, the biggest mistake I made was right in my face:
This article reads as if it was thrown together pretty hastily.
Why in the heck did I do this to myself!?!?! There were other things in the feedback that made me cringe, but this particular showed made me I screwed up. I pride myself on doing great work, and because I didn’t plan, I rushed into it and my editor had to edit it hard as f***.
That, my friends, is a rookie mistake I made.
That’s not a great feeling to have, no matter how long you’ve been in the writing game. So, after gouging on chocolate peanut butter ice cream (it helps!), I thought about turning this mistake into a post to help others avoid it. Whether you’re writing for years or you’re getting started, I want to help you avoid typical writing mistakes that make you look like a rookie.[Tweet “Don’t look like a rookie. Avoid these five writing styles.”]
Five writing styles to avoid looking like a rookie:
Using Passive Voice
For the love of everything sacred to you, don’t use passive voice. Here’s a great example:
The canvas was painted by me.
Doesn’t that make you yawn and go “who cares”? You’re not giving credit to yourself, so your readers won’t care. Even if you were just doing a writing prompt, you’d find that kinda dull. So, say this:
I painted the canvas.
BOOM! You’re in control. It’s more commanding this way, isn’t it?
Repeating Words in Your Writing
This is laziness. Writing 500 words a day does not give you the leeway to constantly use the same word more than 10 times in there. Even common words “the,” “when,” and “from” get overused.
What should you do? Grab a thesaurus and become BFFs with it.
Becoming a great novelist requires you to have attention-grabbing dialogue. Geez, even a so-so novel gets away with dialogue that keeps the reader turning the page. Without it, you put the book back on the shelf.
With blogging, the dialogue is between the writer and reader. If they sound boring, the reader clicks away. We don’t want that to happen. What should we do?
Think about conversations you’ve had with your best friend. Were they hilarious, introspective, even a little heated? Now put those feelings into your dialogue, and watch the words pack a punch.
Over Explaining Stuff
There are many types of writing styles that make you look like a rookie. see, when people are reading your work, they want to be entertained. they want to be entertained because they like to escape from their daily lives and live in a fantasy world. Living in a fantasy world helps people relax, something people don’t do a lot of these days. Relaxing is key to better health, and your writing is like relaxing.
Too much? That’s over explaining. Keep it simple sweetie. If you’re going to explain things, you can break them up over time, but explaining too much at once bores the readers or confuses them. Don’t do that.
That was part of my feedback, my grammar not being up to par. It’s more than pressing the spellcheck button. Sentences that aren’t structured right sound awkward. We no need bad grammar.
Even using the wrong phrase throws off an otherwise awesome blog post. It’s important to proofread your writing. Go do it now.
That’s it! Five simple little techniques to make your writing go from rookie to All-Star!
I hope this hasn’t made you think twice about getting started with writing. This is about making sure you don’t look like a rookie, even if you are one starting out. That novel, blog post, or freelance gig deserves to be awesome. Let’s make it that way.
Until next time, cheers!
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