I didn’t major in creative writing. I will, at certain times, misuse commas, only because there are too many rules, and as much as I try, it is challenging to remember them all.
I try not to make my writing difficult to understand. Using more common words rather than obscure, recondite, or esoteric ones, enables a reader to focus on the story instead of having to look up or deduce the meaning of a word.
Sure, I’ll use the thesaurus (that’s not a tome shaped dinosaur, by the way), to discover interesting words, and have inserted them in place of, for lack of a better word, bland* ones.
Every writer has their own voice and idiosyncrasies (or foibles**). I tend to be less descriptive in my writing, only because that’s the way I read, skimming over information that I deem unimportant. I think I have been getting better at writing dialogue (but not spelling it), although, my dialogue is usually succinct*** because I think that my characters would have a conversation as most people would.
What was my point? Oh, yes. Bad writing.
I was, well, still am, reading a book by a best selling author. I have read several of his—umm, or her—books in the past, some I have enjoyed, others I found . . . meh.
In previous books, I noticed that many of the sentences were quite short, and would have several in a row, exactly the thing my grammar program would red flag. I’m not adverse to short sentences. They have their place. Not too many, though. That gets boring. Some might say monotonous. Yes. Exactly my point.
In the book I am currently reading, I came across this passage which made me think, “His—or her— editor let this through?“:
I wonder what the countertops in his—or her—kitchen are like?
If you have a good example of bad writing, add it in the comment section.
*There are better words: insipid, lackluster, mediocre, vapid, banal, trite, inane, characterless . . .
***Brief or concise
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.
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