What would be my writing pet peeves?
This is actually a tough topic for me because I do believe there is a difference between pet peeves and bad writing. I see bad writing often, and I’m just as guilty for not catching grammatical mistakes, punctuation, spelling – you name it. Sometimes I feel my mind works faster than my hands can type and what seems like a logical thought reads like smash-your-face-against-the-keyboard nonsense.
Not too long ago I sat in on a presentation for writers and the topic was pet peeves, the guest speaker was an editor.
Some of my notes list:
-Don’t start a story with dialogue.
-Don’t have someone “reflect” upon themselves in a mirror. (Very cliche)
-Don’t start the story with someone waking up.
-As well, don’t end a chapter with someone going to sleep.
But here is where bad writing and pet peeves collide.
I’ve read many flash fiction pieces by my peers on this blog journey who start with dialogue and the story turns out really well. I don’t favor starting with dialogue in my own writing but I feel that’s my personal style choice, I would never say you can’t or it doesn’t work because you physical can start a story with dialogue and sometimes – it does work.
Not to mention, when timing is key to the story, it’s okay to start with someone waking up.
However, novel writing has a tendency to be formulaic. And this is where I see one of my pet peeves – following the formula only to have it result in bad writing.
At some point in the novel (usually about 75% of the way through) is going to be a “point of no return #2”, “the second pillar”, a point when the novel is at risk of ending on a limp note so you have to spice it up…
Good writing: This leaves you in suspense, driven to finish the book because how on earth is this going to be resolved?!
Bad writing: (this really happened in a book I read) “Let’s kill the child of the main character though the child served no purpose in the plot and barely had any character development, and then everyone just moves on with the lives afterward – the end.”
Formulas are okay but don’t neglect the story.
Remember, we’re writers, the whole point is to tell the story.
Speaking of story tellers, visit some of my favorites and their take on pet peeves: