Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Don't Get Too Cute

The written medium is so hard because it doesn’t easily allow for tone of voice, body language, facial cues, etc that all lend themselves to meaning.  That’s why we, as writers, have to find ways to introduce meaning through not only what we write, but the way we write it.  Maybe you want to…indicate…something…slow.  Or perhaps there’s something you want to emphasize.  Maybe there’s a LOUD NOISE that you need readers to get.  Whatever it is, we use various tricks to get our point across.

That said, don’t get overly cute, for it will turn readers off.  The reason such literary tricks work is that they’re rarely used, and usually only in specific circumstances.  If you do it too often, or you start using stuff that makes no sense and is only there to (hopefully) make an impact, the reader will discard you.  Stop putting exclamation marks!!! in the middle of your sentences.  There’s no need

to only

write a few words

per line.


Writing has a certain flow, and the only reason to interrupt that flow is to make an impact at a key moment.  Everything can’t be a key moment.  You’ll exhaust your audience, and as much fun as it can be to become enthralled in a novel, most folks only have so much exertion they’re willing to give.

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