1. Avoid using exclamation marks because using them demonstrates that you are a beginner. Experienced writers or editors can spot that mistake instantly and they you as being lazy if you use the exclamation points. You must show what you are talking about, not tell. If you must use the exclamation marks, use one mark within 10,000 words. Show what you are talking about without using the marks to make your writing interesting.
2. Avoid words that end in ‘-ing'. Edit and proofread your piece of writing to remove these kinds of words. He was going. She was swimming. They were singing. These kinds of words are just telling and even though there are acceptable words with that ending, for instance, boating or wedding, you should avoid the most common ones. Think clearly as you write to avoid those words as much as you can.
3. Avoid words that end in ‘ly'. The train moved quickly. The dog walked quietly. You should change those word. For instance, you can say the dog walked so slow he did not notice when it walked away.
4. Do not overuse the words ‘was' and ‘were' because they are telling verbs. She was furious. Instead, you can say she closed the door so hard the padlock rattled. You can see that both sentences show that she was furious but the second one is more fascinating.
5. Do not overuse "just' and ‘very'. She just desired to move into the warm cabin. It was very cold. Instead, you can say the smell of the burning wood in the cabin prompted her on across the snow. The cold weather left frost on her eye lashes.
6. Use the word ‘it' suspiciously. It rained. It was not interesting. There is always an excellent way of using saying this. For instance, you can use a deep point of view. You can say while she had buried trims of her hair in an old mason container away in the backyard like her grandmother told her, rain still emerged on her wedding day.
7. Avoid these two words: ‘He' and ‘She'. Edit and proofread your work to remove these words as much as you can. For instance, instead of saying She sang or Brenda Sang; say without knowing if she would be booed or laughed, Brenda lifted her head into the spotlight and started to sing.
8. Cliched writing. Avoid phrases such as ‘as quick as a cheater', or ‘a jet', or ‘so fast you could not see it'. Most people have already read those phrases numerous times. You must be unique. For instance, you could say the night was quiet as a nun's prayer, which is exciting to read.
9. Avoid misplaced antecedents. For instance, you can say: when he spoke to Mr. Ian he smiled. It is not clear here who is smiling. You must be clear when writing.
10. Avoid changing your point of view inside a scene.
For instance, John was immediately attracted to the girl after he saw her long hair shining in the sunlight. Interested, he walked closer with the intention of feeling the softness without her awareness. She wondered if he was going to have the courage.
It is not clear which head these sentences refer to. Thus, the last sentence should be different. For instance, you can say he does not know what she might be wondering.
Adapted from: Write Better Right Now: Creative Writing Tips
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