The Writers Circle: Bad Habits

One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

We all have areas to improve within our writing, but sometimes it is hard for us to see for ourselves. So let’s take a look inward today and discuss the things we do which are, perhaps, in need of improvement.

Are there things you do when you write a story which, perhaps, your editors and beta readers always strike out? Do you have a tendency to be too wordy or not wordy enough? Do you give too many details, too early in the story or leave too many loose ends too late in the story?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.


8 thoughts on “The Writers Circle: Bad Habits

  1. I tend to get way too wordy — there’s a reason I think of myself as Basil Exposition from the Austin Powers movies… I’ve been working on revising some of my work and I think I’m going to try and at least make basic outlines in the future before I start writing. I think being a pantser means I just write until I figure out where I’m going, hence the wordiness.

  2. I’m probably too wordy. In the long run, it really makes no difference because I generally only write for myself.

  3. I’m nearly always too wordy, though I’m okay with that. My bigger issues have been starting a story at the wrong place. I’ve had readers tell me that I should just lop off the first chapter and start at the second, and it’s made the story much better.

  4. My biggest “bad habit” is very likely that I am too wordy…which seems to be a common affliction. I have managed to convince myself that my wordiness is actually what is charming about my writing. I’m not sure anyone else is convinced of that, though.

    I also tend to use the word “that” too much. Way too much. But now I am aware of it, so I have improved in, um, that regard.

  5. LOL yep, definitely too wordy. Maybe that’s why my MS started at 99,985 words and now stands at around 60,000 😀

  6. Not making my characters likable enough. I don’t get into their heads enough that people feel like they know them and care what’s happening to them. I constantly work on this.

  7. Not sure I would call it a bad habit, but I have difficulty starting my stories. I always want to start out slowly, take a long look at my characters and setting, and develop the plot carefully. Most readers want to get right to the heart of the action, and I have a tough time dealing with that. I always fear that something essential gets excised when I move too fast into the action. I’ve rewritten the opening 100 pages or so of 2 of my books, perhaps 10 times each, and still don’t feel comfortable with either. I’m most confident about my newest book. It’s also the only one written from a detailed outline. Maybe there is a lesson there.

  8. I think I am guilty of everything everyone has written. I tend to use certain words too much. I am making an effort not to do so. I also need to take time to get to know my characters better.

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