1: The writer should try not to repeat themselves in the writing.
Most readers pick things up pretty fast. The reoccurrence of words, sentences and / or ideas will slow the writing and loose the interest of the reader. They will find it jarring and overall unsatisfying. Reminding the reader of something in one small phrase may work, but only if it is separated by chapters of the original thought.
2: Don’t use words that are only used in a thesaurus.
Picking out words that seem to have flare and sound more intelligent can be the opposite. If the writer doesn’t use those words in every day conversations, then they should avoid them in writing.
3: Show or Tell: pick one.
This goes along with repeating ideas; however, it drives more deeply into it. Let’s try an example.
The girl lifted the rose. A sharp pain lanced into her finger, blood pooled in the fresh open wound. She dropped the offending flower with a curse. She pricked herself with the rose.
You can see and feel what the girl had, no need to tell us what happened. This slows the pace and becomes jarring.
What do you find in books that upsets you as a reader? Do you find yourself ignoring or nitpicking books that have this? As a writer, what do you do to avoid doing such things? I’d love to hear from you.