The Most Common Entry-Level Mistake in the Writing Game via @janefriedman
Today’s guest post by author Larry Brooks (@storyfix) is excerpted from Writing Voice: The Complete Guide to Creating a Presence on the Page & Engaging Readers (Writer’s Digest Books).
By far the most common entry-level mistake in the writing game, the thing that can get a perfectly good story rejected by an editor on the first page, is overwriting: a writing voice that is laden with energy and adjectives, that tries too hard, that is self-conscious in a way that detracts from the story, that is obviously the work of a writer trying to poeticize a story that doesn’t stand a chance.
Bad writing voice is like wearing a clown suit to the Oscars. Chances are you won’t make it past the lobby.
Of course, one writer’s clown suit is another’s tuxedo. Which is to say, you may believe your eloquence is palatable and beautiful, and you may feel the need to stuff all this fat into your sentences because you don’t feel they’re muscular enough as is. It’s always an opinion—yours and the editor’s, and finally the reader’s—but it’s a critical one.