Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Michelle Graham

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Iced Latté is now live at most online retail outlets and I'm in the process of adding links to the blog and my website!

This week my guest is Michelle Graham! She has some great advice, so read on. Welcome, Michelle!

Things That Drive Me Nuts As A Reader

I’m a voracious reader. I also judge my RWA chapter’s contest, and I have critiqued many manuscripts in a variety of capacities, from personal to professional. There are some things in books that will make me want to toss my Kindle at the wall or have me screaming in frustration at my computer. Following is a list of things that drives me absolutely nuts and that I wish all aspiring authors could eliminate from their writing. I’ve even seen professional writers do some of these things. No one is perfect.

I’ll admit that I have been guilty of making some of these mistakes myself, but if I had had this list when I started my writing career, I could have avoided a lot of rejection. I hope you find it helpful!

1. Characters who are TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) – “You’ve had 10 beers? Why yes, I think I’d love to let you drive me home.”

2. Damsels in Distress – “Oh, how tragic that I’ve been kidnapped and tied up! If only a big, strong man would come and save me!” (see #1)

3. Misunderstandings – So you saw him having lunch with another woman and instead of asking him, you just assume he’s having an affair and go off and have a snit fit?

4. Ridiculously descriptive language – She plucked the blood-red cherry from the heavily laden tree, which drooped from the weight of its abundantly flavourful load, and savoured the sweet explosion of sticky juice between the impeccably flossed enamel of her teeth.

5. Huge passages of backstory; especially at the beginning – She hung up the phone and remembered every single event from her birth to the phone call in question.

6. Characters who have long internal monologues, especially which feature arguing with themselves – “I’ve always been afraid of commitment. Maybe if I hide and don’t answer the phone, I won’t have to deal with her. But if I don’t deal with her now she’ll just keep calling. How I hate the sound of the phone ringing or her annoying nasal voice. I just won’t answer the phone. But what if she tried to call from a different number and I talked to her by accident? Maybe I should just answer it. I remember a time when I didn’t hate answering the phone…”

7. Typos or incorrect usage – Eye sea your knot a grammer nerd.

8. Trick endings – It was all a dream!

9. A huge cast introduced in the first 2 pages of the book - also a huge cast with similar names (I’m Terry and this is Jerry, Carrie, Larry, Tammy, and Pammy).

10. Endings that drag on – So we lived happily ever after. We had a beautiful wedding with 3 kinds of cake and bridesmaids dresses that had a sweetheart neckline, which matched the bow ties of the groomsmen. Then we went on a beautiful honeymoon and had lots of beautiful sex. Once we got back we bought a beautiful house and made beautiful babies and lived into our eighties and had a slew of great-grandchildren…

Thanks this awesome list, Michelle! My head almost exploded when I read #7. :D Writers, are you guilty of any of these mistakes???

Michelle is a multi-published author with books available from Siren Publishing and Evernight Publishing. She lives in southern Ontario with her husband, son, daughter, and two fur babies.

Twitter: @MichelleGAuthor

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

1 comment:

  1. Your examples were SPOT ON! I loved them! #5 gets me the most. That's what a prologue is for .. and if it's longer than a page and a half, you're doing it wrong. It's a vignette. *sigh*