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Monday, December 21, 2009

24 Ways To Annoy Readers

Readers may find it enlightening to see why a story they read is off-putting, and writers must know this: twenty-four ways to (avoid) annoying readers.

If you do a search on writing, it's difficult not to find dozens of similar articles on the sins of writers. The submissions editor at SF Crowsnest, Geoff Willmetts, has an article on common writing problems that is concise and covers many sins.

This is the first sin in the article not associated with formatting a manuscript, and is perhaps (IMHO), one of the greatest differentiators between amateur and pro writers:

4. Pace. If you want to create high tension and things that are moving in a hurry, shorten the length of your sentences. Have a run and then trying saying a long sentence. Doesn’t work, so you break it up even more. Writers who understand how to pace also know how to adjust the mood of the story. Boo! Did you see that coming? Frame the sentence to the events you’re depicting.

To mitigate against the risk of the author of the article finding this post and using it as an object lesson, I'll stop now. Here are the remaining 23 sins of writing.

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