Ten Fiction Pitfalls

PitfallWow, these writing guides sure are making me feel bad right now. Guilty of all of them, especially number 5 and 8 which I am trying to rectify after reading the previous guide I’ve posted before this. Maybe I should put a sub-menu on the writing guides for my own reference and take out my amateurish exercises.

5. Don’t label characters Writers must describe characters, but often they simply use one-word labels, such as: “She was beautiful,” or “He was brilliant.” Labels are not descriptions. Instead, really describe a character’s physical attributes, and let readers draw their own conclusions. Example: Don’t label a woman by writing: She was drop-dead gorgeous. Truly describe her, as in this: Sara, slender, and about five-eight, seemed taller, in her high-heeled shoes. A pink sweater accentuated her curves. She shook her wavy blond hair and smiled, revealing glistening teeth. Sara murmured in a soft, sensuous voice, “I’ll have a Bloody Mary—lots of celery.” She laughed lightly. “I haven’t had lunch.” Similarly, don’t label a man by writing: He was unusually handsome. Provide descriptive details: Robert, a muscular six feet tall, rested a white-gloved hand on Sara’s bare arm. A red cummerbund contrasted with his white tuxedo and white patent-leather shoes. In a clipped English accent he told the bartender, “Bristol Cream Sherry.” Read the rest here – Ten Fiction Pitfalls


3 thoughts on “Ten Fiction Pitfalls

  1. It’s hard to avoid some pitfalls. “Labeling a character” breaks the rules of show, don’t tell. I think we’re all guilty of that at one time or another.

  2. Hi Wilson
    Thanks for your reply. I’ve got a lot to learn on the techy front I think!

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