Beware: 28 Pitfalls Ahead! (Part 7)

Here are pitfalls 25-28. This concludes my blogs, detailing the 28 pitfalls you should be aware of and should try to avoid. Hopefully these tips will help you improve your writing.

25. Watch for Missing Punctuation
Make sure that your commas are in the right places and that none have been left out. Do you have a period or other punctuation at the end of each sentence? A good reference for proper punctuation is Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

26. Watch for Cumbersome Punctuation
Be careful not to over punctuate with commas. Today we use fewer commas than in the past. Also avoid the overuse of dashes, exclamation points, semi-colons, and colons.

27. Watch for Poor Transitions
Your paragraphs must flow into each other. If the transition seems rough, add an introductory clause or phrase to smooth it out. “After several hours of traveling, we arrived,” or “When we reached Phoenix, we were greeted by our host.”

28. Watch for Telling
Show, don’t tell. On first rough drafts, writers often tell the story in narrative either from an observer’s viewpoint or from the main character’s mind. Both of these locations are boring. Readers want to participate in the action. They want to join in the excitement and experience the events as they are happening.

Be concrete, specific, and definite. Use dialogue, anecdotes, and fictional techniques whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction. When we avoid these twenty-eight pitfalls, we make our writing come alive. This is how we can truly reach our readers and touch their lives.

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