The Art of Effective Writing: What Not to Do
Continuing from my previous article on Writing Don’ts, here are a few more things you should consider not doing when it comes to your writing.
1. Poor Transitions
Make sure your sentences and paragraphs naturally follow one another and don’t suddenly veer off. Poor transitions between these can disrupt the flow of the story and have your readers scratching their heads in confusion.
For example, here are some that don’t work
- Unexpected change of setting — The detective followed the suspect through the crowded streets of New York City. The suspect suddenly disappeared into the subway tunnels. The next morning, Sarah woke up to the sound of birds chirping in her suburban backyard.
- The sudden shift in character perspective — Mark stared at the painting for hours, lost in thought. He couldn’t help but wonder about the artist’s inspiration. The rain started to pour outside, and Susan decided to grab her umbrella before leaving.
- No logic — John had always been a science enthusiast. He loved stargazing and learning about the cosmos. He had a passion for astronomy. As a child, he once got lost in the forest, and now he was an accomplished astronaut.
Make sure your transitions are smooth, and maintain the coherence and flow of the story.
2. Lack of Variety in Sentence Structure
Always having long or short sentences can be boring to read. Make sure you have both and mix it up a bit. This is the way to keep your reader engaged in both fiction and non-fiction.
3. Using Unnecessary Jargon
This is particularly important when writing non-fiction, but it can happen in fiction as well. Avoid using technical terms or jargon that your audience might not understand. Don’t use acronyms without explaining what they are.
4. Ignoring Your Audience
This is important. If you are writing in a genre, make sure you know what your readers expect. Tailor your language, tone, and content to their preferences. In fiction, use genre rules and tropes readers expect to see in your novel. I find this a handy website for…