Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Common Problems (Part 19 of 50)

Avoid comic-book writing. We also call it sound-effects writing. Even though some writers use sound effects, it shows lack of care about the craft. Such sentences say, "It's good enough and I don't need to work hard." It takes more effort (and creativity) to show, but it's also better writing.
  • Snap. Crackle. Pop. [These 3 words are also a cliché.] 
  • The gun went bang. 
  • Slap! Her faced burned from the print of his hand. 
Not only does comic-book writing show sloth, but writers assume that everyone understands what bang or Slap means. For readers to connect with the prose, we need clarity. We can express the noise of a fired gun in many ways. Our word choice guides readers to interpret the intended meaning.

Just as bad is that some writers WRITE IN ALL CAPS.

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?" he screamed.


I assume this is again the mark of the unsure writer who wants to make certain that readers get the emphasis. All caps insults readers by saying, "Because you aren't clever enough to understand, I'll write in all caps."

Readers are as bright (or brighter) than we are; 
we write in clear language so they can visualize what we mean.

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Cec's new book, Unleash the Writer Within, is now available. 

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